Homo Consumable: Human Trafficking and Waste in Fernando A. Flores's Tears of the Trufflepig

  • Elsa del Campo Ramírez Universidad Nebrija


Fernando A. Flores’s 2019 work Tears of the Trufflepig deals with, among other topics, the commodification and fetishization of disenfranchised human beings. The novel describes how a previously extinct indigenous community, the Aranaña people, is being artificially brought back into existence to enrich and expand the global black market via the shrinking and selling of their heads. Through the analysis of how shrunken heads, or tsantsas, are depicted in the story, together with the examination of the portrayal of South Texas as a landfill (therefore implying that its inhabitants are, by extension, human waste), the aim of this paper is to describe the process through which those who are considered ‘redundant’ or even ‘disposable’ can easily be transformed into a product for consumption. Ultimately, in the context of neoliberal capitalism, the story seems to suggest that not only can the category of ‘waste’ be applied to human beings, but even worse, that this categorizationproves to be a social construct driven by purely economic factors.

Author Biography

Elsa del Campo Ramírez, Universidad Nebrija
Elsa del Campo Ramírez is an associate professor at Universidad Nebrija in Madrid, where she teaches Literature and English. She completed her PhD at Universidad Complutense of Madrid in 2017, after spending a research year at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Her book, Envisioning A Decolonial Future: The Poetics of Presentism and Chicana Literature, was published in 2019.


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