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9781948226240 | Paperback 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 | 272 pages Buy it Now

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9781948226257 | Ebook | 272 pages Buy it Now

Book Description

Humiliation is a brilliant book that captures the volatility of misunderstandings, the moment when failures matter less than the need to share them.” —Alejandro Zambra, author of Multiple Choice

The nine mesmerizing stories in Humiliation, translated from the Spanish by Man Booker International Prize finalist Megan McDowell, present us with a Chile we seldom see in fiction: port cities marked by poverty and brimming with plans of rebellion; apartment buildings populated by dominant mothers and voyeuristic neighbors; library steps that lead students to literature, but also into encounters with other arts—those of seduction, self–delusion, sabotage.

In these pages, a father walks through the scorching heat of Santiago’s streets with his two daughters in tow. Jobless and ashamed, he takes them into a stranger’s house, a place that will become the site of the greatest humiliation of his life. In an impoverished fishing town, four teenage boys try to allay their boredom during an endless summer by translating lyrics from the Smiths into Spanish using a stolen dictionary. Their dreams of fame and glory twist into a plan to steal musical instruments from a church, an obsession that prevents one of them from anticipating a devastating ending. Meanwhile a young woman goes home with a charismatic man after finding his daughter wandering lost in a public place. She soon discovers, like so many characters in this book, that fortuitous encounters can be deceptions in disguise.

Themes of pride, shame, and disgrace—small and large, personal and public—tie the stories in this collection together. Humiliation becomes revelation as we watch Paulina Flores’s characters move from an age of innocence into a world of conflicting sensations.

About the Authors

Praise For This Book

Praise for Humiliation

Finalist for the 2019 Big Other Book Award for Translation
Paperback Paris, 1 of 12 New Books You'll Want to Bring Outside This Season

"Paulina Flores deftly captures our startling humanity; there's awe and dread in these pages—but there's joy, too, fleeting and overwhelming. The worlds she crafts in Humiliation are our worlds, in all their terror and amazement."—Bryan Washington, author of Lot

"In this impressive debut, nimbly translated by Megan McDowell, Flores explores the indignities of poverty, widespread in her native Chile . . . Like Alice Munro, Flores sparks empathy with a careful attention to details. Humanity, she makes clear, is bound together by a shared vulnerability." —Mia Levitin, The Guardian

"Until the protests, nobody outside of Chile was talking about how one percent of its inhabitants take home one third of the income generated in the entire country. The fearless, clear–eyed stories of Paulina Flores offer a portal into what living in that extreme inequality means." —Idra Novey, Electric Literature, Recommended Reading

"Written with the possessive, disquieting calm of contemporaries like Catherine Lacey and Richard Chiem, Humiliation is a dazzling debut from a woman within full command of her craft."—Paris Close, Paperback Paris

"Finding Paulina Flores’s debut collection Humiliation in my mailbox was like coming across a little bit of magic in the middle of a very typical day. The stories remain with you long after shutting the cover of her book. Her characters are fascinating—captivating you as you turn the pages, reminding you of what power there is in indulging in excellent writing." —Haley Sherif, The Rumpus

"Humiliation, Paulina Flores’s debut collection of short stories, beautifully translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell, is a timely work that provides pertinent backstory to the protests and official repression that have erupted in Chile this fall . . . Humiliation invites readers to remember in the face of oblivion: to remember what has been forgotten and to remember who has been forgotten." Julie—Ann Ward, World Literature Today

"Chilean writer Flores’ debut short story collection has garnered critical acclaim in its Spanish–language edition, winning several awards, including the Roberto Bolaño Prize. Now McDowell presents an agile translation . . . With conflicts personal and communal in a land in the grip of tyranny, Flores dramatizes difficult situations vividly specific and resonantly universal." —Booklist

"[A] sparkling collection . . . Flores is a compelling writer, transforming every quotidian element into a finely wrought hook." —Dave Wheeler, Shelf Awareness

"Flores’s strong debut collection provides an intimate look at characters in a Chile brimming with desperation and misfortune . . . Readers see characters struggling with failures, job loss, divorce, missing parents, and poverty . . . Flores’s intense stories are tied together with dark, palpable emotion, portraying characters trapped in circumstances beyond their control. This is a challenging, impressive collection."" —Publishers Weekly

"Flores has won several prizes in her native Chile, and it's not hard to see why: Her prose (deftly translated by McDowell) is fluid and assured . . . This collection marks the arrival of an interesting young writer." —Kirkus Reviews