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

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Many of us have a cause that impacts our life and thoughts. Maria Hinojosa, transposed to Chicago from Mexico with her family as a child, has taken on successive causes in her career as an investigative journalist. She is widely familiar to television audiences for her coverage of news events, with her particular focus on the challenges confronting the rights of women, especially Latinas, immigrants, detained children, and the dispossessed. Over the years, her anger has not abated.

Throughout this extraordinary memoir, Hinojosa, relentless and unforgiving, points the finger at politicians for discriminating policies, leaders who in retrospect did ‘pretty good.’ Readers’ judgment on those they admired may well be swayed by her writing.

In the early chapters of Once I Was You she lays the groundwork as she describes her childhood, education, and a short internship with NPR that determined her future path. The book leaps to life when she reports her assignments to the country’s devastating tragedies and disasters. Each is covered from a distinctively human perspective, professional and personal together vindicating the reasons for the awards and honors she has received. Her special recognition is dedicated to her ten years as anchor of Latino USA, her Mexican roots always to the fore.

Hinojosa’s commitment to her career meshes with striving to keep her family together, her several intense friendships, and launching her own media company to help stem time away on assignment. Despite her success, she is haunted by the memory of her teenage rape, transferring her recollection to awareness of the plight of women whose suffering does not end when reaching Texas, their nirvana.

The memoir leaves a lingering sadness, fueled by an underlying disrespect for all men, seeing them directly or vicariously responsible for those women with whom she empathizes.

Reviewed By:

Author Maria Hinojosa
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 344 pages
Publisher Atria Books
Publish Date 2020-09-15
ISBN 9781982128654
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue November 2020
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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