‘War in the Trash Cans’ by Guadalupe Nettel, translated by J.T. Lichtenstein

I’ve been a biology professor at the Universidad de Valle de México for over ten years. I specialize in insects.”

This unassuming beginning leads to some truly unexpected developments, as the narrator reminisces about the time she spent living in her aunt and uncle’s house, following her parents’ divorce. A cockroach infestation, and the (decidedly shocking, potentially nauseating) way the family deals with it, is not something I am going to forget anytime soon. Is there a reverse Kafkaesque transformation of sorts in this story, in terms of what happens to the narrator? Go ahead and read it – I dare you!
From Natural Histories: Stories, Seven Stories Press, 2014. Available to read online as a preview in Google Books here