cover image Boundaries


Elizabeth Nunez. Akashic, $22.95 (275p) ISBN 978-1-61775-033-5

In this familiar tale by Nunez (Anna In-Between), Anna Sinclair, a 40-ish Caribbean-American living in New York, faces conflicting desires of wanting to assimilate yet wanting to still belong to the country she left behind. Early in the novel, her mother is diagnosed with cancer, which brings her elderly parents to the States and allows her to meet Caribbean-American oncologist Paul Bishop, who becomes her boyfriend. Anna, who works at a specialized imprint for a publishing house and wants to publish literary fiction by ethnic writers, comes into conflict with her colleagues as she learns the difference between various ethnic minority groups. She is constantly reminded that immigrant culture is about forming a “community” for aid and survival. An ambitious new colleague goes further by raising questions about her understanding of American culture. She questions her own ambitions in America, where assimilation seems like a pipe dream. Her dilemma of feeling uprooted and belonging nowhere is a common sentiment among immigrants, and the novel doesn’t break new ground. Even with the one-dimensional secondary characters and predictable plot, however, this bittersweet, sentimental novel will appeal to readers who’ve left home to make their path in the world. (Oct.)