Illegally Yours

Grand Central. Jul. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781538705940. $29. MEMOIR
Agustin, an award-winning TV writer (Jane the Virgin), shares a comedic and heartfelt memoir about discovering his undocumented status and how it shaped his childhood and young adult life. Born in Ecuador, Agustin went with his parents when they left behind their careers as doctors to seek the American dream. What follows is a rough and restless childhood constantly on the move, his immigrant family working hard to build a life while keeping their status secret. His teenage years are packed with youthful antics, American TV shows, and figuring out where an undocumented Latino boy belongs in a country where racism runs so deep. He eventually finds his answer in the performing arts. Agustin writes with a deft humor that juxtaposes poignant memories with wry observations, highlighting the people who showed him kindness and helped him carve out his successful career. Under its breezy tone, this memoir is an honest exploration of the stamina and sacrifices it takes to dream in spite of the violence of borders.
VERDICT An earnest and entertaining backstory to an accomplished creator, best suited to readers of celebrity memoirs, inspirational stories, and coming-of-age narratives.
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