Alejandro Zambra


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Fitzcarraldo Editions
17 August 2022
ISBN: 9781913097998
76 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Megan McDowell

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.

‘Every beat and pattern of being alive becomes revelatory and bright when narrated by Alejandro Zambra. He is a modern wonder.’
— Rivka Galchen, author of Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch

‘The most talked-about writer to come out of Chile since Bolaño.’
— New York Times

‘Strikingly original.’
— James Wood, New Yorker

‘There’s a dreamy associative quality of the novella that made it feel true and beautiful and moving. I left Bonsai feeling a little melancholic ache in my ribs, as though some crucial part of me had been taken away.’
— Brandon Taylor, New York Times 

Bonsai fulfills one of the requirements of the short novel: the search for perfection [...] supremely, effectively ambiguous.’
— J.A. Masoliver Ródenas, La Vanguardia