Accidental Immigrants and the Search for Home: Women, Cultural Identity, and Community

Carol E. Kelly. Temple Univ., $27.95 trade paper (194p) ISBN 978-1-4399-0946-1
Building parallels among diverse stories, Kelly presents the physical and emotional journeys of four “accidental immigrants.” Now middle-aged, these four women reflect on leaving their home country because of life choices like education or relationships. Anthropologist Kelly tackles issues of home, belonging, adjustment, transnationalism, acculturation, and the experience of being foreign through the eyes of her informants: Anna, a Maori Mormon from New Zealand who finds herself culturally drawn to the fastidious Nordic life after meeting and marrying a Norwegian sailor; South African Lisa, raised with British sensibilities while growing up in South Africa and Zambia, traveling through England, but missing Canada, where her family eventually settled, when she moves to Miami to be with her partner; Shirine, a daughter of diplomats who felt foreign in her native Iran, but who found community with the foreign artists and students she met in art school in Rhode Island; and Barrett, a Jewish musician from New England who discovers her heart’s natural home in Venezuela. Kelly’s subjects are introspective and intelligent, and she examines the complexities of each set of circumstances. Unfortunately, her desire to tease every bit of analysis out of the interviews makes the shared details of each woman’s life journey feel repetitive. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/03/2012
Release date: 01/01/2013
Hardcover - 176 pages - 978-1-4399-0945-4
Ebook - 190 pages - 978-1-4399-0947-8
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!