The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect on America

Edited by Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman. Little, Brown, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-52428-5
In this revealing follow-up to the 2015 British edition, Shukla (Meatspace) and Suleyman (Outside Looking On) invite 26 artists and scholars, who are immigrants or have ties to multiple countries, to reflect on race, ethnicity, nationality, belonging, and the legacy of colonization, mostly in the context of post-2016 U.S. Written after, and in response to, U.S. President Trump’s Muslim travel bans and references to “shithole countries,” these essays string similar notes—history, memory, pride, and (non)belonging—into many different melodies. Journalist Porochista Khakpour wonders at how she has come to write about nothing but “Iranian-America.” Artists Adrián and Sebastián Villar Rojas lay out Argentina’s struggle between its indigenous roots and its desire to be Western. Teju Cole and Walé Oyéjidé offer contrasting interpretations of depictions of Africa in the blockbuster film Black Panther. French-British film director Yann Demange gives an extended answer to the question, “Where are you from?” and concludes that he will keep giving the short answer, because “the alternative answer can take for-fucking-ever, innit.” The strength of this collection is in its diversity—of gender, sexuality, privilege, experience, and writing style. A gift for anyone who understands or wants to learn about the breadth of experience among immigrants to the U.S., this collection showcases the joy, empathy, and fierceness needed to adopt the country as one’s own. Agent: Sharmaine Lovegrove, Dialogue Books/LBUK. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 01/03/2019
Release date: 02/19/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-1-78352-294-1
Book - 978-1-78352-295-8
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5491-2448-8
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