A NEW YORKER BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A WALL STREET JOURNAL TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR
ONE OF NPRS BOOKS WE LOVE
A tender and funny story about love, family and the peculiar position of being a stepparent [Chilean Poet] broadens the authors scope and quite likely his international reputation. Los Angeles Times
Zambra [is] one of the most brilliant Latin American writers of his generation. The New York Review of Books
Zambras books have long shown him to be a writer who, at the sentence level, is in a world all his own. Juan Vidal, NPR.org
A writer of startling talent (The New York Times Book Review), Alejandro Zambra returns with his most substantial work yet: a story of fathers and sons, ambition and failure, and what it means to make a family
After a chance encounter at a Santiago nightclub, aspiring poet Gonzalo reunites with his first love, Carla. Though their desire for each other is still intact, much has changed: among other things, Carla now has a six-year-old son, Vicente. Soon the three form a happy sort-of familya stepfamily, though no such word exists in their language.
Eventually, their ambitions pull the lovers in different directionsin Gonzalos case, all the way to New York. Though Gonzalo takes his books when he goes, still, Vicente inherits his ex-stepfathers love of poetry. When, at eighteen, Vicente meets Pru, an American journalist literally and figuratively lost in Santiago, he encourages her to write about Chilean poetsnot the famous, dead kind, your Nerudas or Mistrals or Bolaños, but rather the living, striving, everyday ones. Prus research leads her into this eccentric communityanother kind of family, dysfunctional but ultimately loving. Will it also lead Vicente and Gonzalo back to each other?
In Chilean Poet, Alejandro Zambra chronicles with enormous tenderness and insight the small momentssexy, absurd, painful, sweet, profoundthat make up our personal histories. Exploring how we choose our families and how we betray them, and what it means to be a man in relationshipsa partner, father, stepfather, teacher, lover, writer, and friendit is a bold and brilliant new work by one of the most important writers of our time.
Listen to a sample from Chilean Poet