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Fernanda Trías

“Fernanda Trías appears as one of the most interesting writers in Spanish language.” Mario Levrero

© Fernanda Montoro


Fernanda Trías (Uruguay, 1976) is the author of novels La Azotea (Rooftop),  La ciudad invencible (The Invincible City), and the plaquette El regreso (The Return). Additional stories have appeared in anthologies in Germany, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, the US and the UK, including 20/40 (Twenty Latin American Writers under Forty Living in the United States) and Palabras Errantes (Cambridge University’s anthology, Five Uruguayan Women Writers). She was the recipient of the Uruguayan National Literature Award (2002), and the BankBoston Foundation for Uruguayan National Culture Award (2006). Resident at the UNESCO-Aschberg Programme at Camac Centre d’art in 2004, she lived in France for five years. In 2012 she received a full scholarship to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing at New York University. She was one of the “Voices for the New Millennium”, organized by Cornell University in 2013. In late 2017 Fernanda won the 1st SEGIB-Eñe-Casa de Velázquez Award writing residence in Madrid. Fernanda lives  in Bogota and teaches Creative Writing at the Universidad de los Andes. Her new novel is Mugre rosa (Pink Slime).




Mugre rosa (Pink Slime)                                                

Literatura Random House, October 2020 / 280 pages


Rights acquired by:

Literatura Random House (World Spanish)

Audible (Audiobook – Spanish)







Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare genetic disease that is caused by the absence of a gene on chromosome 15, and affects the brain’s area that regulates hunger and feeling satiety. The brain does not receive the ‘signal’ of satiety, so people feel constant hunger, eat compulsively and can do almost anything to hoard food. For this reason, most people with Prader-Willi suffer from morbid obesity and often have a short life expectancy. Other associated symptoms include intellectual disability, muscle atrophy and strabismus. A child with Prader-Willi needs constant lifelong vigilance.

Pink Slime is about the relationship between Mauro – a seven-year-old boy who has Prader-Willi syndrome – and the narrator, a recently divorced and childless woman. Mauro’s wealthy parents have left him in charge of her – who acts as a full-time nurse and caregiver – to go away from the city.

The story takes place in a port city which is going through an environmental crisis and whose river has been taken over by toxic seaweed. Every so often, a deadly wind, known as the red wind, blows over the city spreading the epidemic even further. Hundreds of people have fallen ill, and many of those contaminated die after a period of quarantine. The Government – overwhelmed by the magnitude of the situation – oscillates between totalitarianism, ineptitude and organizational chaos. The only thing that protects the population from the wind is a siren – similar to those that warn of an imminent arrival of a tsunami or earthquake – that marks the city’s soundscape. The unlucky ones who can’t escape the wind start with flu-like symptoms, their skin peel off until painful internal burns occur and then death comes. Due to the environmental crisis, the country’s coastal areas are evacuated and people migrated inland. The rich have built their mansions in the countryside; the poor occupy the abandoned houses of the city or seek refuge in remote neighborhoods; the homeless wander the empty streets, rummage through the rubbish that others have left behind on their escape to safer lands. A new kind of economy reigns, with black markets and strange transactions.

Narrator is one of those who have decided to stay in town. She lives in an apartment in the port area with Mauro, to whom she must feed rigorously and prevent from eating the garbage or getting violent to get more food. But the real reason she hasn’t wanted to leave is because she still can’t sever ties with her ex-husband, who is hospitalized in the city’s public hospital affected by the disease. No one knows what fate awaits the tainted people, and the narrator dives through hospital bureaucracy to get to visit him, despite the danger of contagion.

The narrator’s mother also lives in the city. The codependent relationship with her mother and her ex-husband (Max) keeps the narrator stuck on a pit of resentment and loss. Max is smart but a real handful. He can be aggressive and cynical, dark and self-destructive, and now has begun a spiritual quest that definitely has distanced him from her. The narrator feels guilty about Max’s situation; she thinks she could have protected him from the epidemic if they hadn’t divorced. On the other hand, the narrator’s mother is a selfish, self-centered, tough woman who has never given her the support or tenderness she has always sought. Slowly, the child will break this toxic triangle that has trapped the narrator and will impose himself as a healing and filial bond of a more authentic love.

At her mother’s insistence, the narrator saves from her salary to leave the country. However, when she collects enough money, she hides this fact and delays the departure. She has become emotionally involved with Mauro and doesn’t dare to abandon Max either. Meanwhile, the climatic situation is getting worse, wind storms are becoming more frequent, the number of contaminated people and migration inland are increasing. There is food shortages, as the country cannot produce enough. The wind kills animals and pollutes the land. People who still resist in the city are increasingly cornered.

The situation crumbles for the narrator and for the child because his parents – who used to visit him once a month bringing several boxes of food – do not come and neither call them. They may have abandoned him. This is the breaking point for the narrator, who finally accepts that Mauro is much more than just a job. He has become the thruster of her life but also a responsibility. The narrator fights for her survival and Mauro’s. The food has run out and she must make a decision, while she continues to sort out her past: to get over her failed marriage and make peace with her mother.

Pink Slime is a reflection on motherhood and emotional dependencies, but also a reflection on the environmental devastation, animals cruelty and existential hunger of a society obsessed with the ‘outside’. Author explores conflictive family relationships, the possibility of creating a ‘community’ that replace the blood family, the enclosed and dreadful claustrophobic spaces. In Pink Slime, the ‘outside’ constitutes a threat, a literal and symbolic contamination and criticizes the ineptitude and irresponsibility of governments and media. But, above all, in thinking on child’s illness as a metaphor for the insatiable hunger that consumes us as a society. If our brain does not receive the ‘satiety signal’, what alternatives do we have left? Is it fear of the ‘other’ – the different – the contamination that we try to avoid? How far can we escape, run, look the other way? The hungry body, whether for food, emotional security or something else, can devour itself. Pink Slime explores our capacity for self-destruction, but also for survival.

“Fernanda Trías is kind of an open secret… She is intense, accurate, concise, visual.”
María Esther Burgueño, literary critic

“Nobody writes like Fernanda Trías. Reading her work is like attending a revelation or a nudity. This revelation is offered in a gradual and irresistible way, sentence by sentence, until we realize is us who are being undressing . That’s what you have to be willing to do when approaching to such a pure writer.” Daniel Mella

“If you ever wanted or feared to be an orphan – forget your parents, think of the world that breaks down in front of you, in the time that stopped years ago, in hope that escapes from our hands – do not hesitate: read, enter, live in Pink Slime. I promise that when you have finished the novel, when you begin to remember its scenes, its atmosphere, its sounds and protagonists, you will feel the power of emptiness, the loneliness and the silence created by the cruellest orphanage of all.” Emiliano Monge



La azotea (Rooftop)

Tránsito Editorial, 2018 / 140 pages / 5th editions sold


Rights acquired by:

Charco Press (World English)

Dharma (Mexico)

Editorial Tránsito (Spain)

HUM (Uruguay)

Laguna Libros (Colombia)

Laurel Editores (Chile & Argentina)

Skarifima (Greece)

Storytel (Audiobook – Spanish)



The World is this house says Clara while she is trying to protect her beloved ones from the world -yes, that one outside their house walls- which seems to threaten them more and more. Clara entrenches herself with her father and her daughter Flor in a dark apartment that inevitably crumbles on them. The roof becomes their last recess of freedom. A caged bird is the only witness of Clara’s fear and resistance against those she thinks are trying to destroy her.

“Are threats and pain external or inside our own bodies? Where is violence´s root? What are we afraid of? Is there a possibility to find a roof to finally being able to breathe? What are our umbilical cords? Fernanda Trías does not answer these questions –impossible for anyone– about instinct, civilization and taboos, but shape them and goes deep with a grotesque and forceful history written with agility and a Kafkaesque sense of humour.” Marta Sanz, winner of the Herralde Prize

“Fernanda Trías has created a unique world to which we feel hopelessly dragged.” J.A. Masoliver Ródenas, La Vanguardia

“Exceptional.” Inés Martín Diego, ABC

“Trías relentless denies readers any loophole, facing them to an overwhelming end. The consolation prize is the certainty of having spent a few hours of stupendous great literature with the rediscovery of an excellent fabulist.” Elena Costa, El Cultural from El Mundo 

“Like Myrrha, obsessed by the love of his father, Clara leaves all contact with the outside world as if so, life would be less painful, and indoor made her feel safe, as a poor copy of the maternal uterus. And as for the Greek heroin, who cloaked each night to go to bed with her father, the only way out for Clara will be what all great love requests, that is sacrifice. This delirious hypothesis takes the narrator to cut ties even with her sanity: the World is once again in order according to her peculiar ideas, almost always paranoid, until confusion drags everything. If there is something patent in Under One Roof we are dealing with an author that has worked an own voice and has conceived a inner world absolutely idiosyncratic, without need for gadgets, major topics or exasperate customs.” Dolores Gil, Revista Ñ


No soñarás flores (You Won´t Dream Flowers)

Laguna Libros, 2016 / 164 pages


Rights acquired by:

Audible (Audiobook – Spanish)

Editorial Tránsito (Spain)

HUM (Uruguay)

Laguna Libros (Colombia)

Montacerdos (Chile)

Paisanita Editora (Argentina)

Plural (Bolivia)




La ciudad invencible (The Invincible City)

HUM / 132 pages


Rights acquired by:

Demipage (Spain)

Éditions Héliotropismes (France)

HUM (Uruguay)

Laguna Libros (Colombia)

Storytel (Audiobook – Spanish)




A good book never tells a unique thing. This story is about a sentimental training in a city which has been recently reached and where you live, but that is an unknown place; an hospitable and impossible city at the same time. The physical gap between urban ignorance and social experience that crosses is essential, while allows to become oblique testimony about Buenos Aires.

“An author who belongs to the city about which she writes, could offer versions more or less plausible; but only those who have a foreign gaze will have a life without loans or misunderstandings. Fernanda joins with this frontier novel (half journal, half personal chronicle) the vast tradition of writers who, being foreigners, have been the most eloquent in represent the incomplete Buenos Aires that, good or bad, accepted them.” Sergio Chejfec


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