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The New York Times Bestseller

Javier Zamora


Solito is my travel book of the year.’ Telegraph

‘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


‘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

'A monumental accomplishment.'

Oprah Daily

'Crafted with stunning intimacy . . . you’ll feel so close to the boy [Zamora] was then that you’ll think about him long after the book is done. It’s impossible not to feel both immersed in and changed by this extraordinary book.'

Los Angeles Times

'An important, beautiful work.'

New York Times Book Review

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

'A gripping story, heart-breaking in some passages and heartening in others. Solito is my travel book of the year.'


'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

'It’s the finest work of non-fiction I’ve read this yearSolito is a reminder, too, of how far strangers will go to help one another in times of trouble.’

Deskbound Traveller

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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