In 1999, a nine-year-old boy left his tiny village in El Salvador to join his parents who had emigrated to America some years before. His astonishing nine-week, 3,000-mile journey, without friends or family, is the heart of JAVIER ZAMORA’s riveting memoir. Zamora writes in the pitch-perfect voice of that child as he makes his perilous way, on foot and by boat and bus and truck, recalling moments of true terror and of unexpected tenderness. In conversation with executive director of The Community Library JENNY EMERY DAVIDSON, Zamora will speak about the book, about how he was finally able to write it, about trauma and healing and hope, and about becoming the celebrated poet and writer that he is.
Presented in partnership with the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, the Community Speaker Series welcomes speakers from the annual conference to The Community Library for a free community event. This year’s series features Javier Zamora on July 19 and Curtis Sittenfeld on July 25.
Registration is required. Events will be livestreamed, and a book signing will follow each event.
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.
Photo credit: Gerardo del Valle.