Humiliation - Paulina Flores



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Paulina Flores
Paperback / softback
UK Publication Date

Pride and disgrace.

Nostalgia and revenge.

Tenderness and seduction.

From the dusty backstreets of Santiago and the sun-baked alleyways of impoverished fishing villages to the dark stairwells of urban apartment blocks, Paulina Flores paints an intimate picture of a world in which the shadow of humiliation, of delusion, seduction and sabotage, is never far away. This is a Chile we seldom see in fiction.

With an exceptional eye for human fragility, with unfailing insight and extraordinary tenderness, Humiliation is a mesmerising collection from a rising star of South American literature, translated from the Spanish by Man Booker International Prize finalist Megan McDowell.

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Paulina Flores was born in Chile in 1988. In 2014, she won the Roberto Bolao Short Story Prize for her story "Qu vergenza" (Humiliation). Her collection of the same title was published to great acclaim in Chile in 2015 and was an immediate commercial and critical success. She is a laureate of the Chilean Art Critics Circle Prize for Best New Fiction, and when she is not writing, works as a high school teacher.

Megan McDowell has translated books by many contemporary South American and Spanish authors, including Samanta Schweblin's Man Booker-shortlisted Fever Dream. Her translations have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's and The Paris Review. She lives in Chile.

'It's still rare to encounter a debut with a grip this sure. Young Chilean writer Paulina Flores leads you with such cool confidence through her nine stories that I can't wait to follow wherever she goes next... Masterly.'


'An exceptional debut - beautifully translated by Megan McDowell - from one of Latin America's most exciting young writers.'


'Every once in a while one encounters a new voice and thinks: they will last.'

El Pas

'An incredible storyteller. Paulina Flores has a knack for laying bare those fragile, often inarticulated, often hard to pin down emotions children hold for their parents.'

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, author of Kintu

'Chilean writer Flores' debut short story collection has garnered critical acclaim in its Spanish-language edition, winning several awards, including the Roberto Bolao 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.'


'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.'

Electric Literature, Recommended Reads

'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.'

Paperback Paris

'Winner of multiple awards, including the Roberto Bolao Prize, Humiliation is an intensely political debut... The thing that these nine stories share most prominently is longing. For change. For approval. For affection.'

Minor Literature[s]

'A masterful collection of uncommon stories'

Book Munch blog

'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.'


'The nine stories of this collection bring modern Chile to life on page... This is an exceptional debut ? beautifully translated by Megan McDowell ? from one of Latin America's most exciting young writers.'


'Flores' strong debut collection provides an intimate look at characters in a Chile brimming with desperation and misfortune... [These] intense stories are tied together with dark, palpable emotion... This is a challenging, impressive collection.'

Publishers Weekly

'The magic of Paulina Flores' writing lies in placing us in that critical moment when everything is about to change, yet everything seems still. A finely tuned literary high-wire act if ever there was one.'

Carlos Fonseca, author of Colonel Lgrimas

'Nine powerful short stories about day-dreams, disillusionment and retaliation.'


'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

'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

'Expertly translated into English by Megan McDowell, Humiliation heralds the arrival of a powerful new voice in international literature. Flores has her finger on the pulse of modernity?a writer to watch.'


'A debut that marks the arrival of a powerful figure in Chilean letters. [...] We must celebrate it wholeheartedly.'

La Vanguardia

'A brilliant and daring collection of stories.'


'Chilean author Paulina Flores might be only 28-years-old, but her mature style and her insight into the cracks beneath the surface of middle class life have astonished readers and critics alike.'

Marie Claire

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