Poet Raúl Zurita was a 24-year old student in Valparaiso, Chile on the day of Augusto Pinochet’s coup in 1973, and lived for  17 years under the military dictatorship. In Purgatory, he records the pain and suffering he and the Chilean people experienced during that era, and reveals how this pain and suffering, as well as beauty and redemption, are written into the landscape.

He writes: “I had to learn to speak again from total wreckage, almost from madness, so that I could say something to someone. I think that Purgatory is evidence of that wreckage and of that learning. Writing this book was my private form of resurrection.”

Listen to Raúl Zurita read from Purgatory at PennSound.