Congratulations to Javier Zamora, whose memoir Solito — my favourite work of non-fiction in 2022 — this week won him the Christopher Isherwood Prize. The award — which honours “exceptional autobiographical work that might encompass fiction, travel writing, memoir or diary” — is part of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, which will be handed over at a ceremony in April.
In the book, Zamora recreates the journey he made as a nine-year-old migrant from El Salvador to the United States. The judges commented both on the power of his story and the manner in which it was told. “Somehow,” they said, “Zamora, an award-winning poet, stays true to the child’s perspective at no sacrifice to language or craft. We’re delighted to give him this prize.”