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Behind Closed Doors: Chilean Stories of Domestic Life

April 2019

Image: Marcela Trujillo, FamilienKern, acrylic on canvas, 48 X 48 in, 2008. By arrangement with the artist.

This month, six writers from Chile show us why that country, famed as a land of poets, is also a land of exceptional prose writers. In Alejandro Zambra’s short lyric piece, a bedsheet is a canvas and a record of family history, while Alia Trabucco Zerán brings us a tale of class conflict, connection, and human cruelty. In a piece by Nona Fernandez, a young woman discovers a physical deformity that provokes a reflection on the stories our scars tell of us. Bruno Lloret tells a tale of a wife battling terminal cancer and loneliness while her husband is out to sea. Boyhood friends reunite in Eduardo Plaza’s short story, sparking a trip through the narrator’s memory that leads to a forgotten—and harrowing—episode, while Catalina Mena’s manifesto dismantles notions of hearth and home. Guest editor Lina Meruane contributes an introduction.

A pill casting a long shadow
Photo by Alexander Van Steenberge