• The Far Away Brothers

  • Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life
  • By: Lauren Markham
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (130 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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, the United States was a distant fantasy to identical twins Ernesto and Raul Flores - until, at age 17, a deadly threat from the region’s brutal gangs forces them to flee the only home they’ve ever known. In this urgent chronicle of contemporary immigration, journalist Lauren Markham follows the Flores twins as they make their way across the Rio Grande and the Texas desert, into the hands of immigration authorities, and from there to their estranged older brother in Oakland, CA. Soon these unaccompanied minors are navigating 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 teenage life with only each other for support. With intimate access and breathtaking range, Markham offers an unforgettable testament to the migrant experience.

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review
Winner of the Ridenhour Book Prize
Silver Winner of the California Book Award
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Shortlisted for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize
Longlisted for the Pen/Bograd Weld Prize for Biography

©2017 Lauren Markham (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

A Fall 2017 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection
Silver winner of the California Book Award

"This brilliantly reported book goes so deeply into the lives of its protagonists and is so beautifully, movingly written it has some of the pleasures of a novel - but all the force of bitter truth, the truth about the lives of unaccompanied minors in the USA, about poverty, the ricocheting wars here and there, and the caprices and brutalities of immigration policy. Anyone who wants to understand more deeply how we got here and why we need to keep going until we get someplace better should dive into this book." (Rebecca Solnit, author of The Mother of All Questions)

"Timely and thought-provoking...Markham provides a sensitive and eye-opening take on what's at stake for young immigrants with nowhere else to go." (Publishers Weekly)

"The Far Away Brothers is impeccably timed, intimately reported and beautifully expressed. Markham brings people and places to rumbling life; she has that rare ability to recreate elusive, subjective experiences - whether they’re scenes she never witnessed or her characters’ interior psychological states - without taking undue liberties. In many ways, her book is reminiscent of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family. It’s about teenagers who raise themselves." (Jennifer Senior, The New York Times)

What listeners say about The Far Away Brothers

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  • Overall
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Powerful insights of real migration issues!

Lauren wrote this story like a novel. It sucked me in, made me squirm, and triggered an aray of mixed emotions. She depicted the harsh reality of a migrate's home they run away from and the challenges faced in the world they escape to. Craftily written and narrated. I highly recommend!
“AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

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Everyone US citizen should read this book .

Read this book, open your eyes to the rest of the world. Two thumbs up.

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incredibly powerful

I love the way that Lauren tells the story of the twins authentically and helps you feel like you are right there next to them following their journey. she also weaves in a lot of explanation about many facets of immigration history and recent events, which is incredibly helpful for many of us who have a hard time understanding it all. She explains it clearly and simply, which I deeply appreciate! This book has helped me feel more informed about the current situation of migrants coming to the US from the south and giving me the courage and confidence to speak out more about this issue and address all the misinformation out there. thank you Lauren for writing this book 2 help all of us better understand the facts and advocate for the change that needs to happen!

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A vivid portray of the external and internal challenges immigrants in America face

As an immigrant myself and a law student who works at an immigration law firm, I know a thing or two about the country conditions in many Latin American countries and the realities immigrants face. When I began reading this book, I could not put it down. Markham’s beautiful ability to balance the brothers’ personal story while also acknowledging the country conditions was impressive. Reading about the immigrant experience is always a humbling experience for me. While I have faced my personal trauma, I am certainly aware that I have been given countless opportunities that others will never have. That being said, I think what really sets this literature apart from other immigrant memoirs I’ve read was that she didn’t delicate the brothers as the “perfect victims” instead she allowed the reader to emphasize and relate to the brothers as we saw them face both external and internal challenges. I think it is important for people to understand that immigrants, regardless of their status are humans and deserve compassion.

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chefs kiss

trust me bro just read it
like seriously
I mean it
just listen to it

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brilliant and so well researched !!

loved this book ...learned so much...the author is a remarkable woman...I read it in two long sittings ...could not put it down ....want a sequel

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Thank you

Thank you for writing this book. My heart is broken and I feel so sad for all the children that have to endure that experience.

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A Changed Perspective

It's easy to let conservative values take over...build the wall! I read this book because it was chosen for One Book One Lincoln and my friend highly recommended it. I found my beliefs and values being shifted as I listened and greatly appreciated hearing the other side of an issue. The book introduces illegal immigration in a neutral way that leaves the listener to draw their own conclusions but I began to see the border crisis as less of a national security issue and more of a humanitarian crisis. A great listen if you are looking to educate yourself on current issues.

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Must read, we must also do something

A remarkable story. Detailed family relations, agony, loss, suffering and triumph. Donald must be stopped and Ms Markham gives us a call to action. Let go!

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A wonderful read about America's immigration syste

This is a well-written book that not only tells the story of the Flores family , but also provides relevant statistics about America's immigration system.