Award-winning author Alejandro Zambra, one of Chile’s most celebrated writers, is visiting Phoenix this week for a bilingual literary residency organized by CALA Alliance in collaboration with Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, Cardboard House Press and Changing Hands Bookstore.
Zambra’s avant-garde narrative and storytelling has made him into one of the latest Latin American literary stars. In 2010, he was named one of Granta's Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists.
This week, he has already made a surprise visit to a book club discussing Bonsái, his first book, and started his bilingual workshop “How to Forget How to Write Fiction” at Palabras.
Zambra will be at Changing Hands Phoenix, on Thursday at 7 p.m., when he’ll read from his acclaimed novels Multiple Choice, Bonsai, The Private Lives of Trees, Ways of Going Home and My Documents. He will also be the guest of honor at Palabra’s Micro-Mania event (tagged as a night of readings from micro fictions, micro food – aka tapas – and jazz) this First Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The author, who has been named the "the most talked-about writer to come out of Chile since [Roberto] Bolaño” by the New York Times Book Review, feels the comparison a little off. “I’m probably taller than him,” Zambra jokes of his Chilean compatriot, who died from liver failure at the age of 50 in 2003. “He was a much better writer than I ever will be.”
PHOENIX magazine interviewed Zambra ahead of his book reading and signing this Thursday, and chatted about his experimental writing. (Responses have been translated from Spanish, and edited for clarity.)
It’s almost the most bone-chilling time of the year, and there’s no better way to kick off October than with some ghost hunting.
In addition to faux haunted homes and fear farms in every corner of the Valley leading up to Halloween, Arizona also has plenty of reportedly haunted historic places to whet the appetites of paranormal enthusiasts and urban explorers alike. Test your mettle beyond artificial haunted houses starring high schoolers dressed up like killer clowns — here are some ghost hunts for those brave souls wanting to stare down something a little less cheesy and a little more real.
Award winning Chilean author Alejandro Zambra begins his literary residency in Phoenix next week.
Presented by CALA Alliance (Celebración Artística de las Américas) in partnership with Changing Hands Bookstore, Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, and Cardboard House Press, the Bonsái author will participate in a series of free literary events in the Valley including a bilingual workshop at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, a visit to Arizona State University and a lecture and book reading at Changing Hands Bookstore. (Event details below.)
Deep in the heart of Detroit, the birthplace of motown, bluesy roots artist Samantha Fish recorded the first of two albums to be released this year. Out in March “Chills & Fever” strays from the 28-year-old's typical rock and roll/blues sound and itches a curiousity in soul music. November will see the release of her second album, “Belle of the West,” which is a return to Americana folk.
Last night's highly anticipated U2 concert at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale ushered in the official start of fall in the Valley. The roof, gleefully, was open, framing a few stars and washing the packed crowd with blessed late-September breezes. Bono and the band delighted, playing hits spanning their 41-year career – from “Sunday Bloody Sunday” to “Beautiful Day,” along with every song from the beloved Joshua Tree album.
Folsky rhythms poured from the doors of the Crescent Ballroom lounge last night as The Sugar Thieves took the stage. It started with some simple strums of the guitar and plucking of the upright bass, then Meridith Moore's voice swooped in and quickly filled the room. Before playing for an admirable two hours – Moore is pregnant, after all! – I spoke with her about the band, Americana music and what the future holds for Tempe's own blues band.
“Dieciséis de Septiembre” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “Cinco de Mayo,” but when you’ve been oppressed by the Spanish for a century too long, potential holiday names for the future are not the biggest priority.
Some gringos may think Cinco de Mayo is synonymous with Mexican Independence Day, but in reality the two are separate occasions. In fact, the latter is not nearly as festive or margarita-filled in the United States, even though it’s a much bigger deal for our neighbors to the south.
Cinco de Mayo, actually a minor holiday in Mexico, celebrates the unlikely Mexican victory over French forces in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.
Mexican Independence Day, on the other hand, commemorates the day a Catholic priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called on his people to free themselves from Spanish rule in 1810. This day marked the start of a revolt that would trigger the Mexican War of Independence. It’s a huge event – there are parades, festivals and el grito (the cry) for independence in town squares across the country. In the United States and here in Phoenix, where at least 28 percent of our population is of Mexican descent? Not so much.
Feel free to mark the occasion with guacamole, though—there’s nothing wrong with celebrating some centuries-old victoria mexicana with some good food. Or go the extra mile at these events around the Valley celebrating this Saturday, September 16:
Mamma Mia! – September 12–October 15
A mother, a daughter, three possible dads, and a trip down the aisle you'll never forget. Cleverly told through the songs of ABBA, Mamma Mia! follows Sophie and her journey to find her father, while her mother comes face to face with three men from her romantic past. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. $35.00–$85.00. Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, tickets.phoenixtheatre.com, 602-254-215.
In April of this year, a gaggle of talented musicians gathered in Boston’s intimate Red Room at Cafe 939. Berklee College of Music had invited renowned guitarist Kaki King to record a live album with the Porta Girevole Chamber Orchestra, made up of 12 Berklee students and faculty. The resulting live album, “Kaki King Live at Berklee,” will be released September 22.
When you think of King, you might think of versatile guitar chords and acoustic instrumental ballads. She was the youngest person (and the only woman) named to Rolling Stone's "New Guitar Gods" list in 2006. Since then she's enjoyed some pretty heady collaborations, including with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and Timbaland.
“Kaki King Live at Berklee,” King’s first album in two years, introduces many of her older songs re-envisioned, or rather, re-energized with an orchestra. It’s not only an album that is the first of its kind for King, but was a unique experience for the students. BirnCORE, Berklee’s own record label, gave students the chance to experience the ins and outs of recording and producing under an independent record label.
"Magazine" is the only single released prior to the album dropping.
Ahead of her performance in Phoenix this week, PHOENIX checked in with King to chat about her new album, the challenges of recording live and her thoughts on being a woman (and mom) in the music world.*
Check out King, along with guitarist Derek Gripper, at the Musical Instrument Museum this Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
After Labor Day it’s official: Summer 2017 is over. As Game of Thrones fans would say, winter is coming. (Also in Phoenix, just as in GOT, winter may be coming but it will feel like summer continues to last for approximately six years.)
But before you break out the pumpkin spice, check out these events and discounts happening over Labor Day weekend while Phoenix continues broiling in 105+ degree heat:
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