My Side of the River
Author: Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez
A New York Times Editor's Pick
A People Magazine Best Book to Read in February
A Goodreads Most Anticipated Book of 2024
“My Side of the River is both fierce and poetic. It brilliantly reframes border writing while embracing nature and familial history. There are moments one sees greatness appear. This is one of those moments.” —Luis Alberto Urrea, New York Times bestselling author of Good Night, Irene
Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez reveals her experience as the U.S. born daughter of immigrants and what happened when, at fifteen, her parents were forced back to Mexico in this captivating and tender memoir.
Born to Mexican immigrants south of the Rillito River in Tucson, Arizona, Elizabeth had the world at her fingertips. She was preparing to enter her freshman year of high school as the number one student when suddenly, her own country took away the most important right a child has: the right to have a family.
When her parents’ visas expired and they were forced to return to Mexico, Elizabeth was left responsible for her younger brother, as well as her education. Determined to break the cycle of being a “statistic,” she knew that even though her parents couldn’t stay, there was no way she could let go of the opportunities the U.S. could provide. Armed with only her passport and sheer teenage determination, Elizabeth became what her school would eventually describe as an unaccompanied homeless youth, one of thousands of underage victims affected by family separation due to broken immigration laws.
For fans of Educated by Tara Westover and The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande, My Side of the River explores separation, generational trauma, and the toll of the American dream. It’s also, at its core, a love story between a brother and a sister who, no matter the cost, is determined to make the pursuit of her brother’s dreams easier than it was for her.
St. Martin's Press