Translated from the Spanish by Scott Spanbauer, La parrilla by Adolfo Pardo is the account of a young woman detained and tortured during the Pinochet dictatorship. It was originally published in 1981 with the intention of bringing awareness to what was happening in Chile at the time. Now for the first time in English, The Grill, is an important historical document that relates the atrocities of this dictatorship. According to the editor, critic, and essayist Vicente Undurraga, “the story’s merit, what gives it interest that goes beyond its documentary value, is its non-accusatory, but instead descriptive nature, and its less ideological and Manichean than human (too human) plot.”
PRAISE FOR THE GRILL
"La parrilla [The Grill], Adolfo Pardo’s transcription and novelization of a 19-year-old woman’s account of her detention and torture under the Pinochet dictatorship, now translated by Scott Spanbauer, is a historical literary document that we are fortunate to have. La parrilla was published and circulated clandestinely in Chile in 1981, and Pardo put himself at great risk to make sure that his story was told: a story of horrific detail; a story of unspeakable pain, shame, and torture that reveals, among other things, how Chilean doctors facilitated the physical, sexual, and psychological abuse of prisoners. This is a story about how a person lives through and survives the vilest of man-made hells, yet the speaker somehow maintains a spiritedness and determination that is itself and act of political force and resistance. This book, which first appeared amid the dangerous silence of repression and censorship, is not just a document of history; it’s also a document about how history gets written when those who demand justice and recognition are brave enough to sacrifice their lives so that the most vulnerable of voices will never disappear, will remain present to expose what brutal state governments are capable of doing to their own people."
—Daniel Borzutzky, translator of Country of Plants by Raúl Zurita
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adolfo Pardo Armanet is a Chilean writer, editor, and cultural promoter. He is the author of several collections of short stories, including Después del toque (Talleres del Mar, 1979), Inéditos (Talleres del Mar, 1997), and Una biografía distinta (Talleres del Mar, 2009). He is also the author of two novels: Los insobornables (Talleres del Mar, 1997) and La silla de ruedas (Ril Editores, 2007). He wrote and published the testimonial account La parrilla (Talleres del Mar, 1981), whose second edition came out in 2012 with Ocho Libros. During the 80s Pardo published the journals Cuadernos marginales in Chile and Emergencia in France. He is currently the editor of the online magazine Crítica.cl, which he founded in 1997.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Translator Scott Spanbauer worked for many years as a technology writer and editor, and taught Spanish at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His translation of Uruguayan poet Laura Cesarco Eglin's collection Calling Water by Its Name was published by Mouthfeel Press in 2016. He lived in Santiago, Chile from 1980 to 1981.
Visit Scott Spanbauer's website at Spanbauer.com
Cover image by Daniel Ríos-Lopera