Alia Trabucco Zerán

The Remainder

Shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize 

Santiago, Chile. The city is covered in ash. Three children of ex-militants are facing a past they can neither remember nor forget. Felipe sees dead bodies on every corner in the city, counting them up in an obsessive quest to square these figures with the official death toll. He is searching for the perfect zero, a life with no remainder. Iquela and Paloma, too, are searching for a way to live on. When the body of Paloma’s mother is lost in transit, the three take a hearse and a bottle of pisco up the cordillera for a road trip with a difference. Intense, intelligent, and extraordinarily sensitive to the shape and weight of words, this remarkable debut presents a new way to count the cost of a pain that stretches across generations.

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More Info

  • The Remainder has been shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize 
  • October 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the referendum that ousted Pinochet, on 5th October 1988.
  • If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before 12 March 2018, you would have received a first edition copy of the book – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – before its official publication, as well us up to five other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about how to subscribe.
  • Read about cover designer, Tree Abraham’s design process in putting together both UK and US covers for The Remainder in SPINE Magazine.
Print status: Available
Translator: Sophie Hughes
Original language: Spanish
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date: 4 October 2018
ISBN: 9781911508328
Ebook ISBN: 9781911508335
Availability: UK, Europe and Commonwealth (excl. Canada)
Number of pages: 208


Kirkus Review

‘Thanatofiction at its best and a debut that leaves the reader wanting more.’

Michael Eaude
Literary Review

‘Sharp and colourful, contrasting well with her characters’ furious attempts to come to terms with the past … The Remainder is well translated, stimulating and grapples skilfully with a complex subject.'

Katie Da Cunha Lewin
The White Review

'Striking … rendered with impressive fluidity.'

Big Issue

‘[The Remainder] tells us ... everything about what it is like to grow up in the shadow of other people’s unhappiness.'

Irish Times

'In a notable translation by Sophie Hughes, Zerán’s lyricism and eye for detail shine on the page ... There is plenty to commend in the book’s intentions, and in its elegiac ambitions.'

The Spectator

‘[a] darkly comic road trip … [Trabucco-Zéran’s] spring-heeled prose moves lightly from lyrical to demotic, bawdy to elegiac.'

Times Literary Supplement

'intelligent and immersive … elegaic'

Edmundo Paz Soldán, author and professor of Latin American literature at Cornell University

THE REMAINDER controls a remarkable range of registers (it is, by turns, lyrical, elegiac, sensual, funny, tragic). The author, like her characters, is obsessed with words, those “cracks in language” that house our particular ways of understanding things. This novel is sure to endure.’

Carlos Fonseca

‘A fundamental book about what it means to mourn the past, about the remainders of a history that refuses to be forgotten. This is the debut we all wish we had written. A spirited, brave, urgent book, capable of weaving the political and the poetic.’

Bárbara Pérez
Instrucciones de Uso

The Remainder redefines the political novel . . . The voices in The Remainder are some of the most powerful to have come out of Latin America in the last year.'

Alba Lara
Iowa Literaria

‘A Chilean road trip reveals new ways to think about historical memory.’

Patricia Espinosa
Las Ultimas Noticias

‘One of the best publications of 2015.’

Antonio Skármeta
El Mercurio

‘A triumphant debut.’