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Lauren Markham Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Cheap Bastard's Guide to San Francisco, 2nd: Secrets of Living the Good Life--For Less! (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Lauren Markham
Lauren Markham is a journalist, essayist, and fiction writer; her work is most often concerned with issues related to migration, the environment, youth, and her home state of California.

“The Far Away Brothers” won a California Book Award Silver Prize and the Northern California Book Award. It was named a New York Times Book Critics’ Book of 2017, a Barnes & Noble Discover Selection, the LA Times Book Award, and was shortlisted for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize.

Lauren’s work has appeared in outlets like VQR (where she’s a Contributing Editor), The Guardian, The New Republic, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, Mother Jones, Freeman’s, Guernica, Lithub, Zyzzyva, and Narrative Magazine. She has been awarded fellowships from UC Berkeley, the McGraw Center, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Mesa Refuge, and the French American Foundation.

In addition to writing, Markham has worked for more than a decade at the intersection of immigration and education. She teaches writing at the Ashland University MFA in Writing Program, Left Margin Lit, and the University of San Francisco.

Lauren spent a total of two years reporting “The Far Away Brothers”, a devastating and beautiful nonfiction epic that follows Raul and Ernesto Flores (pseudonyms that Markham used to protect their real identities) from El Salvador. She describes her interviewing process for this book as “entering through the side door”.

She went on a bike ride with both twins and they told her this story about the time when they were little El Salvador they had stolen some corn and used it to buy a bike. This was perfect memory to encapsulate their childhood. In order to elicit such an early experience, she relied on the coefficient of time spent with her subjects, rather than the expertly crafted interview question. She believes that building honest, real, and genuine relationships that come from your heart with whomever you are interviewing makes for much better and more humane journalism.

Lauren was hyper-aware of the cliches in writing about immigrants through the entire writing process. Cliches like painting them as the sad heroes, perfect, as one-dimensional victims. She wanted to include each of the complications of their lives, their poor choices, and their adolescence. Lauren felt that showing them in their roundness was just way to crack through the trope of immigration.

“The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to San Francisco, 2nd: Secrets of Living the Good Life—For Less!” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 2011. This details endless inexpensive and free opportunities available in the City by the Bay from concerts, theater, and museums to yoga classes, wine tastings, massages, and haircuts, for both visiting and native cheapskates alike.

Written in a humorous and fun tone, this unique guide offers up some sound advice on how to live the good life on the cheap!

This is a very helpful book for folks that want to fully participate in what the city has on offer however either don’t have the funds to pay full price for most things, and also for anyone that appreciates saving a bit of money. Readers of this book motivated them to make more of an effort to do more around here and lightened their heart to see just how much is offered free or very small prices.

“The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 2017. Two identical twin brothers that escape from El Salvador’s violence in order to build new lives in California—fighting to stay, to belong, and to survive.

Ernesto Flores, having grown up in rural El Salvador in the wake of the civil war, always had a fascination with the United States, a faraway land filled with Nikes and skyscrapers. At the same time, Raul, his identical twin, never felt this northbound tug. However when Ernesto winds up on the wrong end of the regions savage gangs he is forced to flee from the country, and Raul, because he looks exactly like his brother, follows closely behind. They are away from one danger, heading toward the great American unknown.

Lauren follows these seventeen-year-old Flores twins while they make their harrowing journey across the Texas desert and the Rio Grande, into the hands of immigration authorities, and from there to Wilber, their estranged elder brother’s custody in Oakland. Wilber made the journey to America by himself years prior and has been eking out a living for himself. It was here in Oakland, California that Lauren met the twins, as she worked as a program coordinator at their high school.

Pretty soon, these unaccompanied minors are navigating a brand new school in a new language, working so they can pay down their mounting coyote debt, and facing their day in immigration court. All while they encounter the other pitfalls and triumphs of life as American teenagers: grades, girls, Facebook, with just each other for support.

Markham offers up, with breathtaking range and intimate access, a coming of age tale that is also a nuanced portrait of Central America’s child exodus, unforgettable testament to the migrant experience, and an investigation of US immigration policy.

The book is well written and superbly researched and it focuses equally on either side of the border. This is a book that makes you deeply sympathetic to the refugees looking to have a safer life in the United States. Readers felt that they were connected to the tale and that the was learning a bunch about what is going on, and more importantly why. It makes this a vibrantly real issue which some just see as a theoretical one, illuminating aspects of the immigrant experience that is typically hidden from view. Through the pages, it is impossible not to be rooting for the Flores brothers.

The book’s real victory is in some of its insights into how the gang crisis in El Salvador and neighboring countries has impacted individual lives and what lengths these individuals are going to go to, in rather chilling descriptive detail.

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