When Victoria Buitron turns fifteen, the life she knows and the place she calls home comes to an abrupt halt. Her paternal grandfather becomes ill, and her parents decide to become repatriates out of a sense of duty and love—leaving their cars, house, and jobs as a nanny and a garbage man in Connecticut for the coast of Ecuador with their children. In A Body Across Two Hemispheres, Victoria foregoes a chronological account of how this decision severs her family, and instead uses powerful essays and a structure based on location to narrate how she evolves from a brokenhearted teenage girl to a woman who finds her way home.
“A Body Across Two Hemispheres is a timely book, one many of us need and will be grateful to have read. Never shying from what is difficult to reconcile, A Body Across Two Hemispheres introduces an utterly engaging, assured new voice in nonfiction. In her memoir-in-essays, Buitron lays bare various forms of grief but presents them with equal measures of resilience. She posits love—ultimately—as the curative for loss.”
—Shara McCallum, 2021 Fairfield Book Prize Judge and author of No Ruined Stone and The Face of Water
With virtuosic descriptive skill and essays that span generations and hemispheres, Victoria Buitron has crafted a memoir that pushes the very limits of the medium, looking at what trauma writes in the story of a life–and the palimpsests that can be made after. Of family as a continuous act, a choice. Of love that defies state injustice and separation of time and place. These essays are groundbreaking, vital, revelatory.
—Nick Olson, author of Here’s Waldo and The Brother We Share, Editor-in-Chief of (mac)ro(mic).