Immigrant Memoirs

Personal memoirs written from the immigrant experience have become more and more popular in the last few years. It’s no secret why these types of stories are filling bestseller lists and becoming book club selections. The intimacy of the first-person account provides these narratives with an extra depth and sense of humanity, bringing readers from all walks of life to that writer’s experiences. 

Whether Latinx, Asian or African, these writers consider how those identities mingle with the idea of being an American, from newly arrived to long-term residency. Dealing with themes of deep-rooted identity and the often-impossible navigation of assimilating to a culture that is not always welcoming, these books exhibit an array of hard-won truths about life and finding home. 

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House of Sticks: A Memoir

Tran is a toddler when her family immigrates to Queens from Vietnam. Torn between honoring her Buddhist roots and help her family’s livelihood with the pressure to fit in with her peers. Her father’s paranoia, born out of being a POW, deeply affects her sense of self. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You

Aged eight, Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother and lived in the crumbling shell of an Italian hotel-turned-refugee camp. Eventually she was granted asylum in America. She settled in Oklahoma, then made her way to Princeton University. In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby or as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.