Chile! Possibly the thinnest country in the world. Due to that long, skinny shape, the country has an incredibly varied climate, going from super dry desert in the north to snow and lakes in the south. It is one of the most politically stable countries in South America.

My book for Chile is The private lives of trees by Alejandra Zambra, translated by Megan McDowell.

In this very short novel (98 pages!), we meet a young literature professor named Julian, who is telling his stepdaughter a bedtime story while they wait for his wife, her mother, to return home. The story he tells her is about the private lives of trees (hence the title).

As the night goes on, Julian becomes more and more nervous, as his wife is much later than usual, and he fears that something terrible has happened to her – perhaps a car accident? A robbery? Is she stranded on the highway somewhere? Has she run away and left him with her daughter to raise on his own?

I thought this was an interesting analysis of the insecurities that many people have regarding their relationships. What have you read from Chile?

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