June Book Club

Join the book club for a discussion of Ways of Going Home, a novel by Chilean author Alejandro Zambra.

Cost: Free

Join us as we discuss Ways of Going Home by Alejandro Zambra. New members are always welcome -- just read the book and show up for the discussion! 


Ways of Going Home begins with an earthquake, seen through the eyes of an unnamed nine-year-old boy who lives in an undistinguished middle-class 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.

Alejandro Zambra is acclaimed as the greatest writer of Chile's younger generation. He is a poet and critic and currently teaches literature at the Diego Portales University in Santiago. Zambra's first novel, Bonsái, was awarded Chile's Literary Critics' Award for Best Novel of the year in 2006.


Event Contact
Marisa Bell-Metereau AM'09

Staff Liaison