‘Solito is at once blistering and tender, devastating and affirming – it is, quite simply, a revelation, a new landmark in the literature of migration, and in nonfiction writ large.’
The New York Times BestsellerJavier Zamora
‘Heartbreaking… A rare, eye-opening rendition of the brutal reality of border-crossing.’ Lea Ypi
‘If there’s any justice, Solito will someday be considered a classic.’ Rumaan Alam
Young Javier dreams of eating orange sherbet ice cream with his parents in the United States. For this to happen, he must embark on a three-thousand-mile journey alone. It should last only two weeks. But it takes seven.
In limbo, Javier learns what people will do to survive – and what they will forfeit to save someone else. This is a memoir of perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, and pointed guns. But it is also a story of tasting tacos for the first time, of who passes you their water jug in the crippling heat, and of longing to be in your mother’s arms.
'A beautifully wrought work that renders the migrant experience into a vivid, immediately accessible portrayal'
'A monumental act of reconstruction...Zamora reminds us that behind the word migrant – whether used casually or cruelly – there are human faces, and individual tragedies and triumphs.
‘If there’s any justice, Solito will someday be considered a classic.’
‘This is a magnificent book. Every character is rendered with boundless care and love, and the result is… a gorgeous, riveting tale of perseverance and the lengths humans will go to help one another in times of struggle. With this book, Zamora arrives at the forefront of essential American voices.’
‘I have waited for a memoir like Solito for decades.’
'A beguiling personal memoir which is so effortlessly evocative of time and place, so light in its unexpected humour and convincing in its characterisation, it reads like a novel written by a master of imaginative and empathetic fiction.'
'Solito is both a work of personal healing and an implicit appeal for countries, including the United States, to address the hardships and danger that immigration posed to Zamora, and continues to pose for countless others.'
'The heartbreaking odyssey of nine-year-old Javier Zamora, travelling through South America alone to reach his migrant parents in California, is both a rare, eye-opening rendition of the brutal reality of border-crossing and a haunting testament to the human cost of contemporary immigration policies. I was brought to tears of sympathy and anger.'
‘I don’t think I’ve ever read a memoir which captivated me in so many ways... It was a beautiful book about family, those that we have and those that we make, and the little family that they made on their journey, which was almost sort of Iliad-esque. An epic journey to their loved ones, because they had no choice.’
‘Zamora presents an immensely moving story of desperation and hardship in this account of his childhood migration from El Salvador to the US… This sheds an urgent and compassionate light on the human lives caught in an ongoing humanitarian crisis.’
'A stone-cold masterpiece. I read with my heart in my throat.'