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Solito

The New York Times Bestseller

Javier 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.

  • Publication date: September 15, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780861544769
  • RRP: £18.99
  • Pages: 400
  • Publication date: September 15, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780861544738
  • RRP: £9.99
  • Pages: 464

Reviews

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.’

Francisco Cantú, New York Times bestselling author of The Line Becomes a River

'A beautifully wrought work that renders the migrant experience into a vivid, immediately accessible portrayal' 

Kirkus Review (starred)

'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.

New Internationalist

‘If there’s any justice, Solito will someday be considered a classic.’

Rumaan Alam, New York Times bestselling author of Leave the World Behind

‘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.’

Dave Eggers, author of The Circle and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

‘I have waited for a memoir like Solito for decades.’

Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

'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.'

Big Issue

'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.'

New York Times

'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.'

Lea Ypi, author of Free

‘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.’ 

Jenna Bush Hager, TODAY

‘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.’

Publishers Weekly, starred review

'A stone-cold masterpiece. I read with my heart in my throat.'

Emma Straub, author of the New York Times Bestseller ALL ADULTS HERE

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.

Author page

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