September 12, 2017

The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham

Published Date : September 12, 2017
Publisher : Crown Publishing
Genre : Non-Fiction / Immigration


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The deeply reported story of identical twin brothers who escape El Salvador's violence to build new lives in California--fighting to survive, to stay, and to belong.

Growing up in rural El Salvador in the wake of the civil war, Ernesto Flores had always had a fascination with the United States, the faraway land of skyscrapers and Nikes, while his identical twin, Raul, never felt that northbound tug. But when Ernesto ends up on the wrong side of the region's brutal gangs he is forced to flee the country, and Raul, because he looks just like his brother, follows close behind--away from one danger and toward the great American unknown.

In this urgent chronicle of contemporary immigration, journalist Lauren Markham follows the seventeen-year-old Flores twins as they make their harrowing journey across the Rio Grande and the Texas desert, into the hands of immigration authorities, and from there to their estranged older brother's custody in Oakland, CA. Soon these unaccompanied minors are navigating a new school in a new language, working to pay down their mounting coyote debt, and facing their day in immigration court, while also encountering the triumphs and pitfalls of life as American teenagers-girls, grades, Facebook-with only each other for support. With intimate access and breathtaking range, Markham offers a coming of age tale that is also a nuanced portrait of Central America's child exodus, an investigation of U.S. immigration policy, and an unforgettable testament to the migrant experience.


I am a writer and reporter based in Northern California. I write fiction, essays and journalism - mostly about migration, youth and the environment, though about other things, too.
My work has appeared in outlets such as VQR (where I am a Contributing Editor), The New, The GuardianThe New Republic, GuernicaVICE MagazineOrion, California Sunday, The Utne Reader, Pacific Standard, and on This American Life. 
I'm a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts' MFA in writing program and have the great fortune of having been awarded fellowships from the Mesa Refuge, the UC Berkeley 11th Hour Food & Farming Journalism Fellowship, The French American Foundation, The Rotary Foundation, and the Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism. In addition to writing, I work at a high school for immigrant youth in the Bay Area.
My book about child migration from El Salvador, THE FAR AWAY BROTHERS, will be published by Crown in September 2017. 

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