Magazine article New Internationalist

Ways of Going Home

Magazine article New Internationalist

Ways of Going Home

Article excerpt

Ways of Going Home

by Alejandro Zambra. Translated from the

Spanish by Megan McDowell

(Granta, ISBN 9781847086266)

Chilean author Alejandro Zambra's latest novel is an examination of life under dictatorship . specifically that of the Pinochet regime . and the compromises necessary in order to pretend that such a life is 'normal'.

Beginning in Santiago in the 1980s, the book focuses on a young boy, son of conformist parents who try to shield him from the horrors of daily life under Pinochet. Following an earthquake in the city, the boy meets a mysterious girl who, almost as a childish game, sets him the task of spying on a man who, it transpires, is her uncle. The ramifications of this simple request echo throughout the book as the boy, now grown, reflects on the unforeseen consequences of his childhood actions. …

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