Book Review: Alejandro Zambra’s WAYS OF GOING HOME

WaysOfGoingHomeCoverA book review appears in the New Orleans Review of WAYS OF GOING HOME, a novel by Alejandro Zambra. The novel is translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell, and published by FSG in January 2013.

More About New Orleans Review

New Orleans Review runs reviews anonymously, without a byline.

New Orleans Review is a journal of contemporary literature and culture, publishing new poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, photography, film and book reviews. The journal was founded in 1968 and has since published an eclectic variety of work by established and emerging writers, including Walker Percy, Pablo Neruda, Ellen Gilchrist, Nelson Algren, Hunter S. Thompson, John Kennedy Toole, Richard Brautigan, Barry Spacks, James Sallis, Jack Gilbert, Paul Hoover, Tess Gallagher, Sherman Alexie, Rodney Jones, Annie Dillard, Everette Maddox, Julio Cortazar, Gordon Lish, Robert Walser, Mark Halliday, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Harper, Angela Ball, Joyce Carol Oates, Diane Wakoski, Dermot Bolger, Ernest J. Gaines, Roddy Doyle, William Kotzwinkle, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Arnost Lustig, Raymond Queneau, Yusef Komunyakaa, Michael Martone, Matthea Harvey, D. A. Powell, Rikki Ducornet, and Ed Skoog.

More About Alejandro Zambra

Alejandro Zambra (born 1975) is a poet, fiction writer, and literary critic born in Santiago, Chile. His first novel, BONSAI, was awarded the Chilean Critics Award for best novel of the year in 2006 and attracted much attention in Chile. As the highly influential Santiago newspaper El Mercurio summed up, “The publication of Bonsai … marked a kind of bloodletting in Chilean literature. It was said (or argued) that it represented the end of an era, or the beginning of another, in the nation’s letters.”

The Book Review

Here is the opening of the review of Alejandro Zambra’s WAYS OF GOING HOME:

Alejandro Zambra’s much-anticipated third novel, Ways of Going Home, is a timely and intimate meditation on Chile. It is ambitious in its understated earnestness, provocative in its political messaging, and universal in its grasp at memories for meaning, identity, and voice.

As the title suggests, this novel is concerned with literary ways of probing memories that connect to home. In this case, home is Chile but is equally the 1980s, parents, family, friends, neighbors, and literature. The memories are those of the generation who were children during the regime of Augusto Pinochet.

Click here to read the full review at the New Orleans Review.

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