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Javier Zamora – Solito
Author in conversation about his highly anticipated memoir
Javier Zamora joins us for a conversation about his highly anticipated memoir, Solito (Hogarth), with acclaimed writer Dave Eggers.
“In luminous prose, in harrowing and fierce detail, with tenderness and searing honesty Zamora writes, for the first time, a Salvadoran account of what it takes to reach the border, cross it on foot, and survive. I cannot recommend this book enough, nor overstate its accomplishment.”—Carolyn Forche, author of What You Have Heard Is True
This free event will be held at the Dance Palace. Registration required.
We ask all attendees to wear masks during the event.
In Solito: A Memoir, 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.
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.
Dave Eggers is an award-winning and bestselling author of many books, including The Circle, The Monk of Mokha, The Captain and the Glory, and The Parade. He is founder of McSweeney’s, the San Francisco independent publishing company. He is co-founder of 826 National, the network of youth writing centers that has inspired dozens of other centers worldwide, and Voice of Witness, which advances human rights through oral history publishing and education. Eggers is winner of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Education, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the TED Prize, and has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
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