Claudia Hernández is the highly acclaimed author of five short-story collections and two novels, the first of which was Slash and Burn, published in Spanish in 2017 and in English in 2020. Her work has appeared in various anthologies in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Israel and the USA. She was the winner of the Anna Seghers Foundation award (2004), which acknowledges authors interested in making a more just and more humane society through their artistic production. The National Endowment for the Arts has supported the English translation of some of her books that explore the brutal impact of the El Salvadorian Civil War and she was named in Hay Festival’s Bogotá39 list of important Latin American authors.


John Self
The Guardian

'An intensive reading experience . . . What Slash and Burn – named after a method of agriculture both destructive and regenerative – shows is the difficulty of creating a new life after war or other trauma.​​'  

Lucy Popescu
The Observer

‘A brilliant evocation of civil war and its bitter legacy.’

Morning Star

Slash and Burn investigates with brilliance and compassion the depth of desolation, violence and loss the civil conflict inflicted on a scarred society.’

Sounds and Colours

‘This is a book that uses indirect narration to create accounts that are both detailed and expansive, putting the personal first but speaking for the collective and from a more vulnerable part of society, really demonstrating the multi-layered meaning of being a survivor.’  

John Gibler

‘An indictment of the inherent misogyny of war and an homage to the women who tirelessly fight for justice and survival on all fronts. But hers is not simply a literature of denunciation, for in the same pages she shows, with fierce heart, the ways women refuse to be crushed, the sometimes broken ways they manage to take care of each other and struggle to survive.’

Philippe Sands

‘Extraordinary and utterly gripping, a work of brutally profound beauty and universal significance’

Julianne Pachico

‘What does it truly mean to be at peace following a war? Slash and Burn is a deeply thoughtful and empathetic examination of how a civil war is inherited, and how it affects subsequent generations of women. Stylistically brave and thematically bold, it is essential, necessary reading for understanding the transition from combatant to civilian, and what historical and national trauma look like on a personal level.’

Lina Meruane

‘After reading far too many books about the Central American guerrilla told by and about men, I welcome this terrific novel that delves into the stories of women who come of age during and after war. In Slash and Burn, the aspirations, labour and education of women, as well as motherhood, love, reconciliation and exile, are tied together in sharp, profound prose you can't stop reading.’

Yuri Herrera

‘It is astonishing that someone can write in such a clean and transparent way about a turbulent past. Claudia Hernández's prose is the controlled breathing of someone who knows that memory is another battlefield. Claudia Hernández, like her protagonists, lucid and tough women, knows how to cross these battlefields. Slash and Burn confirms that she is one of the best writers in our language.’

Horacio Castellanos Moya

‘Claudia Hernández is one of the most groundbreaking short story writers from Central America, with a way of approaching the story that is closer to Virgilio Piñera o Felisberto Hernández than to the realist tradition. Her five story collections prove this. Now, with her first novel, Claudia Hernández takes on a new challenge: telling the recent history of El Salvador through three generations of women scarred by civil war, poverty and emigration. A pulsating feminine universe, full of energy and courage, despite the permanent threat of violence that surrounds it. An intense and moving novel, and a very intriguing way of storytelling that will captivate the reader.’

Ryan Gattis

‘Slash and Burn is an incisive look into the lasting wounds of El Salvador's Civil War. It is a tale of generational healing and resilience centred on its women. Hernández is a calm, cutting voice on how what is broken must be put back together.’

Gabriela Alemán

‘Slash and Burn reimagines the country through the voices of mothers, daughters and wives. The female gaze cuts sharp in this retelling.’

Mauro Javier Cardenas

‘Claudia Hernández's extraordinary novel Slash and Burn has an embattled, unsentimental narrative style, with swift shifts of point of view to voices that are often telling her characters what isn’t possible, and a future tense that dramatizes the (im)possibilities for her and her family. Slash and Burn is destined to become a classic.’

The Spanish Bookstage, “Weekly Choice”

‘There is a surreal, dreamlike quality to this challenging story. Devoid of names or places, it abounds with memories of violence told in a third-person bordering on the first, both because of the randomness of events depicted and the naivety and warmth of the language that recounts the almost child-like aspects of the war, always through eyes and a voice that are, above all, feminine.’

Extraordinary books straight to your door.

Print and ebook subcriptions available.
Spoil yourself or send them as a gift.

And Other Emails

Built by CHOPS.
New customer?

Register to purchase books, subscriptions or post comments on our reading groups.