The Trail We Leave

Trade Paper – $16.95

ISBN 978-1-931896-09-2
Publication Date
August 2004
Page Count
200 pages
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.5

The Trail We Leave

Rubén Palma

 The Trail We Leave received rave reviews in Denmark for its exploration of the lives of exiles in Scandinavia and the difficulty of living between two cultures (with sometimes comic, sometimes tragic results). These stories are told from moments of crisis as the various characters try to assimilate into a new culture—the highly intelligent Chilean schoolgirl who suffers the pressure of achieving in a difficult foreign language, the romantic young man from Bangladesh brought to ruin because he misinterprets the sexual mores of Scandinavia, or the Chilean couple whose marriage crumbles under the tensions of exile. In one way or another, we are all exiles, and these stories will appeal to the general reader because of their exploration of the consequences of miscommunication.

About the Author

Born in Santiago in 1954, Rubén Palma grew up in one of Santiago's larger, working-class quarters of that time. He left Chile in 1973, immediately following the coup.  Show MoreSince 1974, he has resided in Denmark and is now a Danish citizen. Employed by the Danish Red Cross since 1985, he is a member of the Danish Author's Society and has published three works of fiction in Denmark to critical praise, Letter to Denmark, Meeting with Denmark, and The Trail We Leave. His two plays, To the Flesh-To the Heart and The Trade were published and performed in Denmark.

Alexander Taylor has translated numerous Danish writers, including Benny Andersen, Klaus Rifbjerg, and Ole Sarvig.


"Fine short stories about a human being who is pulled up by the roots and has to try to create new ones."

—Niels Lillelund, Jyllands Posten

"Palma writes with a charming, caustic humor and a worldly wisdom that make his short stories essential reading." 

—Michael Zangenberg, Politiken 

"Rubén Palma's imaginatively conceived stories, mostly set in Denmark and Chile, portray the dark lives of immigrants and exiles whose native and adoptive lands are equally inhospitable. Reminiscent of Mario Benedetti's fables, Palma's characters stumble through a world full of duplicity, deception and betrayal, never quite losing their faith in the ultimate goodness of others or their humor. The Trail We Leave will haunt you." 

—David Unger, author of Life in the Damn Tropics