NEA Big Read
Ways of Going Home

Ways of Going Home

by Alejandro Zambra

While the country was falling to pieces, we were learning to talk, to walk, to fold napkins in the shape of boats.


Alejandro Zambra (photo: Beowulf Sheehan)

Called "Latin America's new literary star" (The New Yorker), Alejandro Zambra is a popular writer in his native Chile. Born two years after the coup that brought down President Salvador Allende and installed Augusto Pinochet, Zambra writes from the perspective of a generation that was learning to read and write as their parents were becoming victims of, or accomplices to, brutal human rights violations. Ways of Going Home explores this theme by switching between the story of a young boy growing up in the Pinochet years and the story of the writer who is writing the boy's story. "It is structurally exquisite," writes The New Yorker. "In a political culture of actual disappearance, how can the writer not be acutely sensitive to questions of fictional ethics—to the whole complicated business of fictional lying, of inventing parallel worlds, of game-playing, of narrative presence and absence?" Writes Edwidge Danticat for Granta, "I envy Alejandro the obvious sophistication and exquisite beauty of the pages you are about to read, a work which is filled with the heartfelt vulnerability of testimony."

NEA Big Read
Get involved with NEA Big Read!
Learn More

printfooter-logos
© Arts Midwest