June is Immigrant Heritage Month – Fiction Titles

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June is Immigrant Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the diversity and shared American heritage of immigrants throughout time. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh welcomes all individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds and celebrates the diversity that is Pittsburgh today. Take a look at our Library Welcome Center webpage on our website that includes videos in multiple languages and online language learning resources, as well as our recent blog post You Are Welcome at the Library. In celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month, discover a selection of fiction titles that explore multicultural stories from individuals all over the world found through our Overdrive and Hoopla digital services.

If you are new to our eResources, view our tutorial videos on how to get started. If you are interested in exploring your own heritage, be sure to check out our Genealogy resources on our website and our Virtual Genealogy videos on our Facebook page. If you do not have a library card, you can sign up for one free here. If you would like more recommendations tailored to your interests, fill out our Book Recommendation form and a librarian will curate a list for you! Contact Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on any of our social media platforms or email us at info@carnegielibrary.org if you have any questions.

All Our Names

This is the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart; one into the deepest peril, as the movement gathers inexorable force, and the other into the safety of exile in the American Midwest. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

America Is Not the Heart

When Hero De Vera arrives in America, haunted by the political upheaval in the Philippines and disowned by her parents, she’s already on her third. Her uncle gives her a fresh start in the Bay Area, and he doesn’t ask about her past. His younger wife knows enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. But their daughter, the first American-born daughter in the family, can’t resist asking Hero about her damaged hands. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Bang

Vividly portraying the impact of international drug smuggling on the innocent, Peña’s debut novel also probes the loss of talented individuals and the black market machines fed with the people removed and shut out of America. Ultimately, Bang is a riveting tale about ordinary people forced to do dangerous, unimaginable things. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Behold the Dreamers

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem with his wife Neni and 6-year-old son, lands a job of being a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Eager to please his new boss and with Neni being offered temporary work by Clark’s wife Cindy at their summer home in the Hamptons, Jende and Neni can see a brighter future. However, the world of power and privilege conceals troubling secrets and the Lehman Brothers experiences financial collaspe, Jende and Neni must make an impossible choice. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

The Book of Unknown Americans

A boy and a girl who fall in love. Two families whose hopes collide with destiny. An extraordinary novel that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American. Woven into their stories are the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

The Buddha in the Attic

In eight incantatory sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces a group of young women’s extraordinary lives, from their arduous journey by boat, where they exchange photographs of their husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their experiences in childbirth, and then as mothers, raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of war. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Dominicana

Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Forgotten Country

On the night Janie waits for her sister, Hannah, to be born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter in every generation, so Janie is charged with keeping Hannah safe. As time passes, Janie hears more stories, while facts remain unspoken as within all these stories are warnings. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Hoopla, as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby, and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Girl in Translation

When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family’s future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Home Fire

Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she’s accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that allows her to resume a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream, to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

A Place for Us

As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Refuge

Refuge charts the deeply moving lifetime relationship between a Iranian and a daughter, seen through the prism of global immigration. Beautifully written, full of insight, charm, and humor, the novel subtly exposes the parts of ourselves that get left behind in the wake of diaspora and ultimately asks: Must home always be a physical place, or can we find it in another person? You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

The Refugees

The experiences of eight different Vietnamese refugees are explored in this novel. Real human emotions are explored through creative stories pertaining to the immigrant experience. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Changez is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by the elite “valuation” firm of Underwood Samson. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his infatuation with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore. But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his budding relationship with Erica eclipsed by the reawakened ghosts of her past. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Hoopla, as ebook on Hoopla, as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby, and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

We Need New Names

Darling is only ten years old, and yet she must navigate a fragile and violent world. In Zimbabwe, Darling and her friends steal guavas, try to get the baby out of young Chipo’s belly, and grasp at memories of Before. Before their homes were destroyed by paramilitary policemen, before the school closed, before the fathers left for dangerous jobs abroad. But Darling has a chance to escape: she has an aunt in America. She travels to this new land in search of America’s famous abundance only to find that her options as an immigrant are perilously few. You can also check out this title as as eAudiobook on Hoopla, as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby, and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.