Bonsai is a short but intense book. Alejandro Zambra won Chile’s Literary Critics’ Best Novel Award with this one, and this is his first novel. When it first came out, critics went crazy over it; describing it as the beginning of a new era. I wonder if Zambra was guessing that such a small book would have such a significant impact.
There is a couple who make love to literature before making love with each other every night. I will remember this book most with this image. Isn’t it great? A couple reading poetry, stories and novels to each other every night. Oh, and you should see what they are reading! From Yukio Mishima to Raymond Carver, this couple knows what they are doing. But in the end, one dies, and the other is still alive.
This modern short novel may not blow your mind, but you will be amazed by its mastery, unusualness and style. I think that every good reader should read this one. Enjoy!
“Winner of Chile’s Literary Critics’ Award for Best Novel”
Hailed as a great Latin American literary event, this stylistically innovative, elliptically told tale of a young man and his love who mysteriously disappears is, as the narrator tells us, “a simple story that becomes complicated.”
Through both the distance and closeness of these young lovers, Alejandro Zambra brilliantly explores the relationship between art, love, and life. Bonsai is accessible yet profound—as one critic in Chile’s Capital newspaper put it, “Brief as a sigh and forceful as a blow.”
Alejandro Andrés Zambra Infantas is a Chilean poet, short story writer and novelist. He has been recognized for his talent as a young Latin American writer, chosen in 2007 as one of the “Bogotá39” and in 2010 by Granta as one of the best Spanish writers under the age of 35.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: