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Once I Was You : A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America
by Maria Hinojosa




Overview -
NPR's Best Books of 2020
BookPage's Best Books of 2020
Real Simple's Best Books of 2020
Boston.com readers voted one of Best Books of 2020

"Anyone striving to understand and improve this country should read her story." --Gloria Steinem, author of My Life on the Road

The Emmy Award-winning journalist and anchor of NPR's Latino USA tells the story of immigration in America through her family's experiences and decades of reporting, painting an unflinching portrait of a country in crisis in this memoir that is "quite simply beautiful, written in Maria Hinojosa's honest, passionate voice" (BookPage).

Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning journalist who, for nearly thirty years, has reported on stories and communities in America that often go ignored by the mainstream media--from tales of hope in the South Bronx to the unseen victims of the War on Terror and the first detention camps in the US. Bestselling author Julia lvarez has called her "one of the most important, respected, and beloved cultural leaders in the Latinx community."

In Once I Was You, Maria shares her intimate experience growing up Mexican American on the South Side of Chicago. She offers a personal and illuminating account of how the rhetoric around immigration has not only long informed American attitudes toward outsiders, but also sanctioned willful negligence and profiteering at the expense of our country's most vulnerable populations--charging us with the broken system we have today.

An urgent call to fellow Americans to open their eyes to the immigration crisis and understand that it affects us all, this honest and heartrending memoir paints a vivid portrait of how we got here and what it means to be a survivor, a feminist, a citizen, and a journalist who owns her voice while striving for the truth.

Also available in Spanish as Una vez fui t .

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More About Once I Was You by Maria Hinojosa

 
 
 

Overview

NPR's Best Books of 2020
BookPage's Best Books of 2020
Real Simple's Best Books of 2020
Boston.com readers voted one of Best Books of 2020

"Anyone striving to understand and improve this country should read her story." --Gloria Steinem, author of My Life on the Road

The Emmy Award-winning journalist and anchor of NPR's Latino USA tells the story of immigration in America through her family's experiences and decades of reporting, painting an unflinching portrait of a country in crisis in this memoir that is "quite simply beautiful, written in Maria Hinojosa's honest, passionate voice" (BookPage).

Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning journalist who, for nearly thirty years, has reported on stories and communities in America that often go ignored by the mainstream media--from tales of hope in the South Bronx to the unseen victims of the War on Terror and the first detention camps in the US. Bestselling author Julia lvarez has called her "one of the most important, respected, and beloved cultural leaders in the Latinx community."

In Once I Was You, Maria shares her intimate experience growing up Mexican American on the South Side of Chicago. She offers a personal and illuminating account of how the rhetoric around immigration has not only long informed American attitudes toward outsiders, but also sanctioned willful negligence and profiteering at the expense of our country's most vulnerable populations--charging us with the broken system we have today.

An urgent call to fellow Americans to open their eyes to the immigration crisis and understand that it affects us all, this honest and heartrending memoir paints a vivid portrait of how we got here and what it means to be a survivor, a feminist, a citizen, and a journalist who owns her voice while striving for the truth.

Also available in Spanish as Una vez fui t .

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781982128654
  • ISBN-10: 1982128658
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publish Date: September 2020
  • Page Count: 352
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Once I Was You

In Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America, Latina journalist Maria Hinojosa offers a searing, clear-eyed account of growing up in America after she emigrated from Mexico as an infant. Weaving her own life story with key milestones in U.S. immigration history, she produces a brave examination of the United States’ shortcomings.

Written in Latina journalist Maria Hinojosa’s honest, passionate voice, Once I Was You is, quite simply, beautiful. 

Hinojosa’s family traveled to the U.S. so her father could work as a researcher at the University of Chicago. When she was a child, they would drive from their home in Hyde Park into Chicago to see the big city, where Hinojosa would gaze at public housing developments, “massive brown cement towers, twenty floors of fencing around balconies and doors. No windows. I wondered why they had no windows even though they were built overlooking this beautiful lake. It seemed like a purposeful punishment.” It was an early glimpse into the inequities of racism to which Hinojosa would devote her journalistic career.

Hinojosa moved to New York City to study at Barnard College, where she found her voice as a radio host at the college station, cementing her career path. She took jobs at NPR, CNN, CBS and PBS, where she produced pieces that celebrated diversity and shone a light on immigration issues, including a groundbreaking report on “Frontline” about the immigration industrial complex and physical and sexual abuse at detention centers. She developed PTSD from the countless interviews she conducted with detainees, who told her stories of their horrific treatment.

As Hinojosa reported these stories, she maintained the objectivity that’s so crucial to journalists’ credibility, but she also kept close her own immigrant experience and her belief that America is long overdue for a reckoning. “My husband [the artist German Pérez] says that the reason this is so hard for me is because I believed in the promise of this country,” Hinojosa writes. “I bought into the exceptionalism. It’s hard to accept how ornery and normal and mediocre this country really is. I thought we were better than this. But we aren’t.”

Once I Was You is, quite simply, beautiful. Written in Hinojosa’s honest, passionate voice, this memoir takes readers on a journey through one immigrant’s experience. Hinojosa was able to realize the American dream, but she urges us not to look away from all the others for whom America is a nightmare.

 

BAM Customer Reviews