The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You

Dina Nayeri. Catapult, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-9482-2642-4
Novelist Nayeri (Refuge) explores the plight of refugees through the prism of her own childhood escape from Iran in this provocative account. She begins with an account of how, after being threatened for practicing Christianity in the 1980s, eight-year-old Nayeri and her family fled Iran, found refuge in Italy, and were later granted asylum in the U.S. She then interviews and reflects on other refugees, many of whom escape tyrannical governments and poverty only to be interned in crowded camps as they await asylum: Kambiz, a young Iranian man accused of adultery for befriending a married woman, fled to the Netherlands, where, facing deportation, he killed himself (Nayeri read about him then interviewed his relatives and friends). Majid and Farzaneh, who left Iran for Europe with their daughters, crossed the Aegean Sea in an overcrowded, water-logged boat and experienced refugee camps with overflowing toilets. Valid and Taraa survived threats from the Taliban and a near-fatal car crash only to be granted asylum in Greece after 15 years on the waiting list. Filled with evocative prose (“We are all immigrants from the past, and home lives inside the memory, where we lock it up and pretend it is unchanged”), Nayeri reveals the indignities exiles suffer as they dodge danger and shed their identities and souls while attempting to find safety. This thought-provoking narrative is a moving look at the current immigrant experience. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 04/25/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-1-78689-345-1
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-948226-43-1
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-1-988996-06-6
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-9749-8180-9
Library Binding - 539 pages - 978-1-4328-7316-5
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-64622-021-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-9749-8179-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-9749-8175-5
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