Bonsai is the story of Julio and Emilia, two young Chilean students who, seeking truth in great literature, find each other instead. Like all young couples, they lie to each other, revise themselves, and try new identities on for size, observing and analyzing their love story as if it’s one of the great novels they both pretend to have read. As they shadow each other throughout their young adulthoods, falling together and drifting apart, Zambra spins a formally innovative, metafictional tale that brilliantly explores the relationship among love, art, and memory.
Alejandro Zambra was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1975. He is the author of Chilean Poet, Multiple Choice, Not to Read, My Documents, Ways of Going Home, The Private Lives of Trees and Bonsai. In Chile, among other honours, he has won the National Book Council Award for best novel three times. In English, he has won the English PEN Award and the PEN/O. Henry Prize and was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He has also won the Prince Claus Award (Holland) and received a Cullman Center Fellowship from the New York Public Library. His books have been translated into twenty languages, and his stories have been published in the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, the Paris Review, Granta, McSweeney’s and Harper’s, among other publications. He has taught creative writing and Hispanic literature for fifteen years and currently lives in Mexico City.
Translated by Megan McDowell. Published by Fitzcarraldo, August 17 2022.