Join us at Speer Memorial Library in Mission, on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, for a discussion of Ways of Going Home, to take place in the library’s Community Room at 5:30 p.m. in Spanish, and at 6:30 p.m. in English. Everyone is welcome to attend and discuss the book.

Our discussion of this book is part of the Big Read program, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The NEA has graciously donated some copies of the book, which we will make available, while supplies last, to people who sign up for the discussion.

A novel about writing a novel, Ways of Going Home is the story of a boy who tells of his childhood, growing up in the 1980s in a suburb of Santiago, Chile, during the Pinochet dictatorship. And, it is the story of the novelist who is writing the boy’s story, as he reflects on the similar circumstances of his own childhood in Chile and tries to come to terms with his past.

But it is also a story within a story, as the boy becomes aware of the larger story of politics, repression, and fear that surrounds, and seeps into, his childhood world of friends, school, fun, and games. The novelist who is writing the boy’s story is also part of that larger story—as he had a similar upbringing—and finds himself still affected by it.

Written by Alejandro Zambra, and first published in 2011, Ways of Going Home is a work of historical fiction, set in the time of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and Chile’s devastating 1985 earthquake. Arranged in narratives that alternate between the boy and the novelist writing the boy’s story, it shows the many ways of reconciling memories and past relationships—the many ways of going home.

If you cannot obtain a copy of the book, you can stop by our library’s Reference Desk, or call at 580-8754, and we will try to obtain a copy for you via Interlibrary Loan.

For more information, or to sign up for the book discussion, please call William Renner or Rose Alvarez at 580-8754 or 580-8750. You can also register at the Reference Desk, or by email at