Solito A memoir

Javier Zamora

Book - 2022

"Trip. My parents started using that word about a year ago--'one day, you'll take a trip to be with us. Like an adventure.' Javier's adventure is a three-thousand-mile journey from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone except for a group of strangers and a "co...yote" hired to lead them to safety, Javier's trip is supposed to last two short weeks. At nine years old, all Javier can imagine is rushing into his parents' arms, snuggling in bed between them, and living under the same roof again. He cannot foresee the perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions that await him; nor can he know that those two weeks will expand into two life-altering months alongside a group of strangers who will come to encircle him like an unexpected family. A memoir as gripping as it is moving, Solito not only provides an immediate and intimate account of a treacherous and near-impossible journey, but also the miraculous kindness and love delivered at the most unexpected moments. Solito is Javier's story, but it's also the story of millions of others who had no choice but to leave home." --author's website.

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BIOGRAPHY/Zamora, Javier
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Subjects
Genres
Autobiographies
Published
New York : Hogarth, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC [2022]
Language
English
Physical Description
384 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780593498064
0593498062
Main Author
Javier Zamora (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

When Zamora was nine, he traveled from El Salvador to Guatemala and Mexico, finally crossing the border into the United States to join his parents, having not seen his mother for four years and his father since he was one. What was to have been a two-week journey lasted two harrowing months. He has since become a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard and published a debut poetry collection, Unaccompanied, that began his exploration of how war and immigration have affected his family. Here he provides a detailed memoir of his traveling "solito"—alone, but surrounded by people who became a surrogate family. Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Poet Zamora (Unaccompanied) presents an immensely moving story of desperation and hardship in this account of his childhood migration from El Salvador to the U.S. To reunite with his parents—who left during the Salvadoran Civil War—nine-year-old Zamora was forced to rely on the help of coyotes to get to America in 1999. But, as he relates in affecting detail, the voyage for his group was perilous and trust was a rare commodity. What was supposed to be an easy two-week trip became a two-month nightmare pocked with seedy characters, days spent locked in various hideouts before moving, and a never-ending stream of promises shattered. Between dangerous marches through the desert and being caught at the U.S. border multiple times, Zamora's group was forced to depend on one another for survival. The surrogate family they formed offered Zamora respite from the despair, and he transforms the experience into a stirring portrait of the power of human connection. Rendering the end of their journey in a final heartbreaking scene, Zamora writes, "I can feel my heart in my stomach... I close my eyes and take a long sniff. Their sweat, the smell of loroco and masa, is faint, but it's them." This sheds an urgent and compassionate light on the human lives caught in an ongoing humanitarian crisis. (Sept.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"A young poet tells the unforgettable story of his harrowing migration from El Salvador to the United States at the age of nine"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A young poet reflects on his 3,000-mile journey from El Salvador to the United States when he was nine years old, during which he was faced with perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions during two life-altering months alongside a group of strangers who became an unexpected family.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK AS FEATURED ON TODAY • A young poet tells the unforgettable story of his harrowing migration from El Salvador to the United States at the age of nine in this moving, page-turning memoir hailed as “the mythic journey of our era” (Sandra Cisneros)“A new landmark in the literature of migration, and in nonfiction writ large.”—Francisco Cantú, author of The Line Becomes a River Trip. My parents started using that word about a year ago—“one day, you’ll take a trip to be with us. Like an adventure.”   Javier Zamora’s adventure is a three-thousand-mile journey from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone amid a group of strangers and a “coyote” hired to lead them to safety, Javier expects his trip to last two short weeks. At nine years old, all Javier can imagine is rushing into his parents’ arms, snuggling in bed between them, and living under the same roof again. He cannot foresee the perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions that await him; nor can he know that those two weeks will expand into two life-altering months alongside fellow migrants who will come to encircle him like an unexpected family. A memoir as gripping as it is moving, Solito provides an immediate and intimate account not only of a treacherous and near-impossible journey, but also of the miraculous kindness and love delivered at the most unexpected moments. Solito is Javier Zamora’s story, but it’s also the story of millions of others who had no choice but to leave home.