The Remainder

A novel by Alia Trabucco Zerán, translated by Sophie Hughes

August 6, 2019 • 5 x 7.75 • 240 pages • 978-1-56689-550-7

A coffin, a camera, a bottle of pisco: three friends embark on a road trip through Chile to confront a history they can neither remember nor forget.

Felipe and Iquela, two young friends living in modern-day Santiago, are plagued by the legacy of Chile’s dictatorship. Felipe prowls the streets counting dead bodies real and imagined, aspiring to a perfect number that might offer closure. Iquela and Paloma, an old acquaintance from Iquela’s childhood, search for a way to reconcile their fragile lives with their parents’ violent militant past. The body of Paloma’s mother gets lost in transit, sending the three on a pisco-fueled journey up the cordillera as they attempt to grapple with pain that stretches across generations.

About the Author

Alia Trabucco Zerán was born in Chile in 1983. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship for a master’s in creative writing at New York University. La Resta (The Remainder) was chosen by El País as one of its top ten debuts of 2015. She lives in London, where she is studying for a PhD at University College London.

Sophie Hughes is an award-winning translator from Spanish and a literary critic. She has been the recipient of a British Centre for Literary Translation mentorship and residency and an American PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant.

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired. To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at info@coffeehousepress.org.


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.” —Edmundo Paz Soldán

“A powerful, impressive novel, dotted with scenes that are as unique as they are unforgettable.” —Lina Meruane

“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.” —Carlos Fonseca

“A Chilean road trip reveals new ways to think about historical memory.” —Alba Lara, Iowa Literaria

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.” —Bárbara Pérez, “Granta en Español, 5 years later,” Instrucciones de Uso

“The sharpest, most incisive reprieve from novels dealing with the dictatorship by writers like Bolaño, Marín, Cerda y Varas.” —Rodrigo Pinto, El Mercurio

“One of the best publications of 2015.” —Patricia Espinosa, Las Últimas Noticias