RISING through the ranks of Latin American literature is Alejandro Zambra, a writer from Chile who has won over critics with his captivating work.
His award-winning first book, Bonsai, has been praised for its stylish and deeply-moving prose. His latest novel, Ways of Going Home, is no different.
Translated into English by Megan McDowell, the story’s backdrop is 1980s Chile during dictator Pinochet’s regime.
Our boy narrator sets the tone from the get-go with his naive, almost humorous account of a major Santiago earthquake, made even more charming by Zambra’s poetic touch.
It is this event that has a huge impact on the boy’s life – it’s where he meets and later falls in love with Claudia. In the latter part of the book as a grown man trying to revive his marriage, Claudia returns to the neighbourhood and soon his world is rocked to its core.
Thought-provoking and inspiring, the book also echoes some of the author’s own nostalgia of growing up during that turbulent time.
Mary Ann Pickford