By Day in Chile
Novelist Alejandro Zambra presents a younger generation's perspective on the Pinochet years
When I was in Chile in the summer of 2001 I stupidly asked a taxi driver, in my bad Spanish, if Pinochet were dead.
“No,” he said, and by the way he looked over his shoulder I could see the question made him nervous. “No, he is still alive.” He showed me the National Stadium as we drove through Santiago on our way to Valparaiso and said, “Pinochet’s prison.” For a moment I thought he meant Pinochet was imprisoned there. Then I remembered how the stadium had once been used, during Pinochet’s viciously oppressive rule (1973–90): as a huge detention center where suspected political dissidents were held and in many cases “disappeared.”
Toward the end of Alejandro Zambra’s astonishing new novel, Ways of Going Home, a thirtysomething character, too young to have directly suffered Pinochet’s atrocities, says of the
… full text available to registered users