With the first week of February finished, it’s likely that some people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. If you vowed to read more in 2021, don’t give up just yet. As the pandemic continues, local bookstores need support now more than ever. Check out these four Valley bookshops to fulfill all of your literary goals. Central Phoenix Lawn Gnome Publishing 12 N. 5th St., Phoenix Located in the Roosevelt Row arts...

Gift-giving this year, like everything else in 2020, looks a little different than ever before. Instead of exchanging gifts hand to hand or gathering around the Christmas tree to unwrap presents, many people will be mailing packages and meeting in Zoom rooms. A virtual experience is another option, as local businesses offer virtual animal encounters, exercise sessions and workshops. Here are just a few. Nicole Anne Yoga and Animal Reiki Give the gift of a...

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.)