Solito: Book summary and reviews of Solito by Javier Zamora

Solito

A Memoir

by Javier Zamora

Solito by Javier Zamora X
Solito by Javier Zamora
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  • Published Sep 2022
    400 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

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).

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Poet Zamora presents an immensely moving story of desperation and hardship in this account of his childhood migration from El Salvador to the U.S...This sheds an urgent and compassionate light on the human lives caught in an ongoing humanitarian crisis." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The author, now a poet who has been both a Stegner and Radcliffe fellow, meticulously re-creates his tense, traumatic journey, creating a page-turning narrative that reads like fiction. Sprinkling Spanish words and phrases throughout, Zamora fashions fully fleshed portraits of his fellow travelers...Beautifully wrought work that renders the migrant experience into a vivid, immediately accessible portrayal." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Solito is a stone-cold masterpiece, an absolute masterpiece. I know I used that word twice. That's how you know I mean it." - Emma Straub, author of the #1 bestseller This Time Tomorrow

"A riveting tale of perseverance and the lengths humans will go to help each other in times of struggle. With this book, Javier Zamora arrives to the forefront of essential American voices." - Dave Eggers, author of The Circle

"What Javier Zamora has accomplished in Solito feels miraculous. This is a pitch-perfect recapturing of the voice, consciousness, and emotions of his nine-year-old self sent on what at times feels like a child hero's fantastic adventure into the brutal adult world." - Francisco Goldman, author of Monkey Boy

This information about Solito was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Javier Zamora

Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador in 1990. His father fled the country when he was one, and his mother when he was about to turn five. Both parents' migrations were caused by the U.S.-funded Salvadoran Civil War. When he was nine Javier migrated through Guatemala, Mexico, and the Sonoran Desert. His debut poetry collection, Unaccompanied, explores the impact of the war and immigration on his family. Zamora has been a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard and holds fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

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