Ways of Going Home | Granta

Ways of Going Home

Alejandro Zambra

Translated by Megan McDowell

A young boy plays hide and seek in the suburbs of Santiago, unaware that his neighbours are becoming entangled in the brutality of Pinochet’s regime. Then one night a mysterious girl appears in his neighbourhood and makes a life-changing request.

  • Published: 03/10/2013
  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781847086273
  • 129x20mm, 160 pages

Zambra is one of the writers of my generation that I most admire. Never a wasted word. Never a false note. His is an utterly unique voice, one I go back to again and again

Daniel Alarcón, author, Lost City Radio

I've found myself rereading, trying to work out this short novel's intricate structure of gaps and holes

Adam Thirlwell, Books of the Year, New Statesman

Complex yet sophisticated, the novel places Zambra at the spearhead of a new Chilean fiction. [He] weaves some of the continent's most difficult historical themes into an exciting modern art form

Mina Holland, Observer

The Author

Alejandro Zambra was born in Santiago, Chile in 1975. He is the author of two books of poems, Bahía Inútil and Mudanza; a collection of essays, No leer; and three novels, Bonsái, which was awarded a Chilean Critics Award for best novel, The Private Lives of Trees, and Ways of Going Home, which was awarded the Altazor Prize, selected by The National Book Council as the best Chilean novel published during 2012, and won an English Pen Award. He was selected as one of Granta‘s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists and was elected to the Bogotá39 list.

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The Translator

MEGAN MCDOWELL is a Spanish language translator whose work has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. She has translated books by Alejandro Zambra, Samanta Schweblin, Gonzalo Torné, Lina Meruane, Carlos Busqued, and Mariana Enriquez. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the ParisReview, Harper’s, TinHouse, and McSweeney’s. She lives in Chile.

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From the Same Author

Multiple Choice

Reader, your life is full of choices. Some will bring you joy and others will bring you heartache. Will you choose to cheat (in life, the examination that follows) or will you choose to copy? Will you fall in love? If so, will you remember her name and the number of freckles on her back? Will you marry, divorce, annul? Will you leave your run-down neighbourhood, your long-suffering country and your family? Will you honour your dead, those you loved and those you didn’t? Will you have a child, will you regret it? Will you tell them you regret it? Will you, when all’s said and done, deserve a kick in the balls? Will you find, here, in this slender book, fictions that entertain and puzzle you? Fictions that reflect yourself back to you? Will you find yourself?

Relax, concentrate, dispel any anxious thoughts. Let the world around you settle and fade. Are you ready? Now turn over your papers, and begin.

Alejandro Zambra on Granta.com

Fiction | Granta 134

Reading Comprehension: Text No. 2

Alejandro Zambra

‘Which of the following famous phrases best reflects the meaning of the text?’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 134

Searching for Pavese

Alejandro Zambra

‘Something’s gone awry with this article. My intention was to remember, in his birthplace, a writer I admire, and it’s clear that my admiration has waned.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 134

Introducing Daniel Galera

Alejandro Zambra

‘It’s hard to introduce Daniel Galera’s tale without resorting to adjectives that are more likely to arouse distrust than interest.’