On a near-silent drive across a desert with his father, a teenage boy puzzles out the mysteries of his family and himself in this acclaimed novel.
As a fifteen-year-old boy takes a long drive across Chile’s Atacama desert with his father in a smoke-colored Ford Ranger, the teen simultaneously traverses “the worn-out puzzle” of his broken family—his corrosive intimacy with his mother, the obtrusive cheer of his absentee father, his uncle’s unexplained death. A low fog called camanchaca pushes in from the sea, its moisture sustaining near-barren landscape. Sometimes, the silences are what bind us.
In this “arresting and deeply affecting read” (Publishers Weekly), Zúñiga is “following in the footsteps of fellow Chilean Roberto Bolaño” (Minnesota Star-Tribune).
“It’s precisely this coolly observant language, deepening with the story, that lets us register the buried despair.” —Library Journal
“A smart, straightforward narrative that reveals the varied mood a shared experience can evoke.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Camanchaca has one of the strongest novel openings I’ve read in years, a knockout vignette that disarms the reader with a few beats of unnecessarily specific detail, and then seamlessly shifts into fast and steady motion while glancing across a violent mystery all in just a quarter of a page.” —Electric Literature