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Viața necunoscută a copacilor

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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  3,766 ratings  ·  397 reviews
In fiecare seara, Julian, tanar profesor si "scriitor de duminica", improvizeaza scurte povestiri despre copaci pentru a o adormi pe Daniela, fiica lui vitrega, un ritual de la care nici adultul, nici copilul nu se abat niciodata. Nici macar in seara in care Veronica, sotia lui Julian si mama Danielei, intarzie inexplicabil de mult. Cuprins de panica, profesorul se teme ca ...more
Paperback, 118 pages
Published 2017 by Curtea Veche (first published 2007)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,766 ratings  ·  397 reviews


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Kris
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kris by: Mike Puma
This is a gem of a short novel. It opens as a professor and writer, Julián, is telling his stepdaughter Daniela a bedtime story while waiting for his wife Verónica to return from an art class. The bedtime story is a sweet, humorous and quirky story about two trees who are friends. As you read on, you learn that Verónica is later than usual, and as time passes, Julián grows progressively more anxious.

In 98 pages, Zambra uses this simple premise to move into a story which is much more than this fr
...more
s.penkevich
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Mike Puma
Life is a huge album for creating an instantaneous past with loud and definite colors

Our lives are full of faces that come and go, some disappearing forever from our private stage, while others sometimes check back in and out over time. Each of these faces leaves a mark on us through our collisions of selves, sometimes leaving unconscious marks that can be good or bad, and some leaving scars that we carry forever. Alejandro Zambra’s breathtaking novella, The Private Lives of Trees, examines th
...more
Brian
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Mike Puma
When I travel taking photographs of trees is one of my favorite things to do.

DSC05806
Colorado 2006

Life is a huge album for creating an instantaneous past, with loud and definite colors.

A single tree, a private tree, is a visual anomaly. Without others, they can look...

Lonely
DSC_0113
Maasai Mara 2010

Bashful
DSC02098
Athens 2009

or even, like they might eat you
DSC07006
Kilkenny 2008

In San Francisco, we even point out a tree in its state of alone-ness
One Tree

Alejandro Zambra's beautiful novella reminds the reader how ve
...more
Mike Puma
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A very brief review of a truly wonderful book.

Sometimes, with experimental fiction, I’m left puzzling over whether my reaction to the book constitutes an experimental success or failure—whether my ‘feelings’ about a title are adequate to the author’s intent (I know, I know)—whether I’ve lived up. With TPLoT, I think I have lived up, or rather, the author compelled me to that place where I can ‘live up.’ The constant, though often subtle, reminders that I’m reading a novel work. A character’s imp

...more
Oriana
May 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
Hey guess what? I am becoming a writer for the amazing art & culture blog and micropress CCLaP! And I vamped up this very review for my first contribution!

***

When I found a proof of this little slip of a book, I assumed it was some kind of sampler, or a teaser maybe. But no: it truly is a complete novel(la?), weighing in at 95 pages. And let me just say right away that this is just another way in which the phenomenal Open Letter Press is challenging American readers -- who says a novel has to be
...more
karen
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
what is even better than this book??

oriana's review of this book.

her review is what soothed my terror when i realized i did not have enough book left to carry me through both my lunch break AND my subway ride home, and instead of freaking out (much), i calmly carried a copy of this book to the green room and read it on my lunch break, leaving the riveting conclusion of the iron duke for the subway ride home. phew. crisis averted...

since i already own it and it is an open letter publication, and
...more
Fionnuala
Before I write a review, I try to tune into the echoes from the book that remain in my consciousness in order to pin down how it has made me feel and how the reading of it has intersected with my own life. Usually a lot of ideas occur to me fairly quickly and then the review is up and away.
I’ve been very patient since finishing The Private Life of Trees. I’ve tried listening for the echoes but they are very faint. In the end, all I’ve come up with is an odd feeling of discomfort, the kind of mil
...more
Lynne King
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this somewhat surprising novella when I was on a plane the other week, way above the clouds and my mind was full of celestial thoughts as a result of that.

It’s interesting how such a simple story of ninety-eight pages, covering an evening with an individual, can sustain one’s interest from the beginning until the end, and all in one sitting.

Here we have Julián, a somewhat hesitant person, a professor of literature and an author on Sundays (why not Saturday?), telling a bedtime story to hi
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Julián is waiting for his wife to come home, and she is late. As he waits, he has to care for his step-daughter. He tells her a few stories of his series about the private lives of trees that have known each other for a long time, while reflecting on his past, his relationships, art, and imagined futures for himself and for his stepdaughter Daniela.

It is super short, and I understood that the author intended it to be read in one sitting, so I obliged. It is a bit fragmented and more about memor
...more
Marc Kozak
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marc by: The Millions
I sometimes think about a girlfriend I had in college, and think it's strange that the most memorable thing about our year together was that I don't remember the relationship anymore. By all accounts, it was a good relationship -- there was no drama, we had fun together, I may have even been in love with her at the time. But here I am, not even ten years later, and I can't quite piece together what she looks like in my mind. I can't recall what we talked about, where we liked to go, the kinds of ...more
Claire
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We all do it, we all know it...Some times while waitng for someone, we think about the strangest things... we imagine what could have happened and see whole stories right before our eyes.
This is a very short novel about the small thngs and big feelings in life. I read it in one short time and found great joy in it.
Keyo Çalî
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it is both sweet and bitter, both a short book and a long one also. it is like you are waiting for Verónica's return, even when you put down the book. "the future belongs to muted voices", but that is not what I want to be, I don't want to be a muted voice.
Jonfaith
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
50 Thoughts on The Private Lives of Trees.
This will correspond or not with the experience of reading this stirring novel on a cool, sunny day in late Summer.
1)The novel likely takes place in our Chile.
2) I have never been to Chile. Or South America.
3)Miami is the farthest south I have ever ventured. The farthest East is Beograd, Serbia. North: Uppsala, Sweden. West : San Francisco.
4)While in Miami my wife and i saw her friend from Chile.
5) He's a travel minister for a coast city.
6) While Chile i
...more
Gloria
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Take a quirky, somewhat self-absorbed, lovable character from a Steve Martin novel ...

throw in the emotional frailty of Paolo Giordano ...

wrap it up in the poetry of Italo Calvino ...

and you have this wonderful, thought-provoking little novella-- which compels you to read it in one sitting.
Isidora
This novel about love and family resonated for some of my GR friends. For me it was kind of empty experience in spite of beautiful and almost flawless writing. I never felt any great connections with the characters. The book stayed detached and impersonal, nothing stroke the chord.
Kusaimamekirai
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-chile
When I ordered this book weeks ago I promised myself that, despite its short length, I wasn’t going to devour it in one day. There isn’t much of Zambra in translation so......play it slow. That plan survived the first page or so and then it just sucked me in, finishing the book the same day I got it.

Here’s the thing about Alejandro Zambra though, his books are like that. This is only my second after the wonderful “Ways of Going Home” but there’s a beauty and a freshness to his work that is so
...more
JK
Reading this while in state of melancholy induced by a feeling of complete disconnect from anyone and everyone around me perhaps wasn't the best idea.

I can understand the book and what Zambra was saying here, but I just couldn't feel it. This was the wrong time to read this, but fortunately books can be read more than once. This book will live with me and one day I will feel it.
Thodoris Fotoglou
⭐️⭐️1/2
jess
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, fiction
I picked this up after I finished Bonsaï. Apparently I enjoy brief novellas from South America? This story takes place in one night (and also in a lifetime), when Julián is puttinghis step-daughter to bed. Her mother is late coming home. Julián is telling a bedtime story, The Private Life of Trees, and worrying about where her mother is. His mind moves into the past while we're waiting for Verónica, and we get a glimpse of his own history and the history of their marriage, and also an idea of th ...more
mwpm
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels-novellas
description

In his autobiography  The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí , Dalí relates the inspiration behind one of his most famous paintings, "The Persistence of Memory"... 

"We were to go to a moving picture with some friends, and at the last moment I decided not to go. Gala would go with them, and I would stay home and go to bed early. We had topped off our meal with a strong Camembert, and after everybody had gone I remained a long time at the table meditating on the philosophic problems of the ‘super-sof
...more
St. Erika (NotAnEarlyBird)
(You can also see it here: https://notanearlybirdblog.blogspot.g... )

I have kept my eye on this for some time now and a couple of weeks ago it found its way to me. Despite its small size this bonsai of a book is so full; full of Julian's love for Veronica and her daughter, Daniela, his memories, his frustration and fear as Veronica doesn't return home, his effort not to let despair beat him, to keep things normal for Daniela until Veronica comes home (or until she doesn't).

Simple... Beautiful..
...more
Anetq
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little story about the details of life - the unfinished novel, the bedtime story, the things you imagine, when a loved one does not come home at night... or the future you imagine for your child. Who is imagining whom? And what is real life anyway - and did she ever come home?
ilona
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A
Ferris
Apr 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How can an author pack so much into a novella? That is the question I am left with after reading "The Private Lives of Trees". The author takes us through one long night suffered by Julian, a writer and stepfather, who is waiting for his wife to come home. I won't tell if she does or not, and frankly, it is almost irrelevant. The reader is allowed access to the stream of thoughts, feelings, imaginings, hopes, history, and fears of one man for one night. His ponderings are the stuff of being huma ...more
Chad Post
Mar 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DISCLAIMER: I am the publisher of the book and thus spent approximately two years reading and editing and working on it. So take my review with a grain of salt, or the understanding that I am deeply invested in this text and know it quite well. Also, I would really appreciate it if you would purchase this book, since it would benefit Open Letter directly.
Özlem Güzelharcan
As a tree hugger-lover-admirer and considering the buzz around this novella I guess I can honestly say that I had high expectations of this book which could not be fullfilled at the end, obviously. I'm not a fan of present-tense-narration, and I guess that's one of the reasons the book didn't click with me. I love the story and the characters though.
Robledo Cabral
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Private Lives of Trees” is a somnolent, dreamy whisper by Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra. It plays the game of evocation: an ordinary setting is slowly but surely transfigured into something grander, in a movement that is at once soothing and bewitching.

The book, which remains at all times conscious of its existence as a literary work, depicts one evening in Julián’s life. As he sits in his small apartment with his stepdaughter, Daniela, Julián tells her stories about friendly, immemorial
...more
Lisa
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short novella is only the second I've ever read by a Chilean author.  The first was Nancy by Bruno Lloret, translated by Ellen Jones and published here in Australia by Giramondo as part of their innovative Southern Latitudes series. The Private Lives of Trees is likewise published by a university publishing house, the University of Rochester in the US. It is, as they say at their website, one of only a handful of publishing houses dedicated to increasing access to world literature for E ...more
Tom
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julián is sitting at home, telling his stepdaughter Daniella stories about 'the hidden life of trees'. He is waiting for his wife, Verónica, to return home from her drawing lessons, but for some reason, she is taking longer than usual. Perhaps, Julián thinks, she is out somewhere with a flat tire. Perhaps the reality is more grim. Zambra seals a contract with the reader - when Verónica returns home, the narrative will stop.

What follows is a story that winds up and down, as Julián contemplates hi
...more
Puri Kencana Putri
I wrapped up my 2017 marathon reading by choosing this book. The story is significantly short, even in one single sitting everyone can actually finish The Private Lives of Trees. Nevertheless, the author does know on how to deliver such an evoking interest storyline between two protagonist characters, Julian (a step father) and Daniela (a step daughter) through a bedtime story medium.

It is not merely a bedtime story for every single night someone can deliver with. Julian as a novelist tries to
...more
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Literatura Chilena: Lectura conjunta: "La vida privada de los árboles" 3 53 Dec 02, 2017 03:42PM  

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Alejandro Zambra is a Chilean writer. He is the author of Bonsai, The Private Lives of Trees, Ways of Going Home, My Documents and Multiple Choice. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, Harper's, Zoetrope, and McSweeney’s, among other places.

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