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My Documents

by Alejandro Zamba

Don't let the uninspiring plain blue cover put you off this fascinating collection of short stories by a Chilean poet. Mostly based on his own experiences of growing up in the post Pinochet era of repression and political unrest, he describes his passion for football, his early battles with smoking and his writing through the various characters. I am not a huge fan of short stories but I surprised myself by loving these.

Extract

Once in the apartment, Max installed the heavy PCU as best he could under the dining room table, arranged the cables in a more or less harmonic way, and played like a kid with the bubble wrap it had been packaged in. Before solemnly starting up the system, he took a moment to look at everything deliberately, fascinated: the keyboard seemed impeccable to him, the monitor, perfect, and he even thought that the mouse and speakers were, somehow, pleasant. He was twenty-three years old, it was the first computer he'd owned, and he didn't know exactly what he wanted it for, considering he barely knew how to turn it on and open the word processor. But it was necessary to have a computer, everyone said so, even his mother.
Translated by Megan McDowell

Parallels

Drown by Juno Diaz
House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
 

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