Me In America: Immigrant Stories

Writers and philosophers have grappled with questions like, "How do you measure the value of a man?" The same question could be asked about a country. Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, had a litmus test: "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in...and how many want out."

Immigration statistics and politicians are often the stories making headlines but the unforgettable stories are born out of personal experience. Immigrants turned memoirists and novelists or inspired writers who become biographers, all keep us reading at the Library. Favorite stories include:


Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Barrio Boy by Ernesto Galarza

Lebanese Blonde by Joseph Geha

Minding Ben by Victoria Brown

Together Tea by Marjan Kamali

Unterzakhn by Leela Corman (graphic novel)

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo


97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegelman

The Distance Between Us by Renya Grande

Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart

Purpose: An Immigrant's Story by Wyclef Jean

Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder

Thoughts Without Cigarettes: A Memoir by Oscar Hijuelos

Vietnamerica by G.B. Tran (graphic novel)

Explore additional stories with our online booklist or a visit to the Library. Each story is an another opportunity to learn more about ourselves and each other. Carlos Fuentes, world renown Mexican writer, said it best: "Recognize yourself in he and she who are not like you and me."

Written by Laurie. on March 17, 2014

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