Ways of Going Home
Alejandro Zambra’s Ways of Going Home begins with an earthquake, seen through the eyes of an unnamed nine-year-old boy who lives in an undistinguished middleclass housing development in a suburb of Santiago, Chile. When the neighbors camp out overnight, the protagonist gets his first glimpse of... show more
Alejandro Zambra’s Ways of Going Home begins with an earthquake, seen through the eyes of an unnamed nine-year-old boy who lives in an undistinguished middleclass housing development in a suburb of Santiago, Chile. When the neighbors camp out overnight, the protagonist gets his first glimpse of Claudia, an older girl who asks him to spy on her uncle Raúl. In the second section, the protagonist is the writer of the story begun in the first section. His father is a man of few words who claims to be apolitical but who quietly sympathized—to what degree, the author isn’t sure—with the Pinochet regime. His reflections on the progress of the novel and on his own life—which is strikingly similar to the life of his novel’s protagonist—expose the raw suture of fiction and reality. Ways of Going Home switches between author and character, past and present, reflecting with melancholy and rage on the history of a nation and on a generation born too late—the generation which, as the author-narrator puts it, learned to read and write while their parents became accomplices or victims. It is the most personal novel to date from Zambra, the most important Chilean author since Roberto Bolaño.
Publish date: January 8th 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages no: 160
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, Adult Fiction
, Historical Fiction
, Literary Fiction
, Spanish Literature
, Latin American
, Latin American Literature
The story here jumps back and forth between the story and an account of its writing. Back and forth between created characters and the voice of the author as he goes about his life, making decisions about how and when to work on the book, what to keep and what to leave. The result is an engaging n...
Ways of Going Home Author: Alejandro Zambra Translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell Genre: Literary Fiction, Latin American Literature, Contemporary Fiction Illustration on title page by Charlotte Strick Setting: Santiago, Chile Published January 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux "It's stran...
Briefly, very briefly: I am sold on Zambra.Even though I delayed reading this one and approached it with some reluctance (that damned publisher’s blurb—but I’ll come back to that), my overall sense of the author and his work was reaffirmed, and if I had to describe Zambra’s writing or storytelling i...
Zambra does a masterful job in this novel giving voice of the experiences of a silent group in Chile -- the generation that grew up under Pinochet's rule, living their childhoods in the shadow of a brutal dictatorship. Zambra reveals the uneasy balance between children's worlds of games and school a...