A few of our favourite books exploring the experiences of immigrants.
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A love story which begins is Nigeria, then spins out into America and the UK as the lovers are divided by military rule in their home country, and reunited there fifteen years on.
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Clanchy tells the story of her Kosovan nanny, and her escape from the violence of war and her marriage. The kitchen-table conversations of writer and subject form the heart of this unusual tale.
A beautiful tribute to Sarajevo, football and childhood in the form of collected essays: caught in the States when the war broke out, Hemon brings the culture and nuances of Sarajevo into brilliant focus.
A masterful magist realist novel set in New Jersey, but concerning dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. The overweight and nerdy protagonist daydreams of love, fantasy and the family curse.
Subtitled Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police, this is a first-hand account of Romanian oppression, and a deeply personal child’s eye view of a father’s rebellion, arrest and imprisonment.
New York’s Lower East Side is the setting of this 1934 story of Galician emigrants moving to what is effectively a Jewish ghetto.
Tamil Trinidadian Sam Selvon was the first black British writer to tell the Windrush generation story of the 1950s. Homesickness and the search for love and work are the keynotes.
A Bengali couple leave Calcutta for Boston, and reinvent their lives. The novel is an intimate portrait of two generations living and loving in the USA.
Poet Jackie Kay takes a trip to Nigeria in search of her birth father in this warm but unsentimental journey into nature, nurture and identity.
Maxine Hong Kingston
Chinese-American Hong Kingston delves into her mother’s past in this tale of a changing China in the 1940s. Fusing myth and memoir, The Woman Warrior is a classic of feminist writing.
V. S. Naipaul
The Trinidadian master author of A House For Mr Biswas melds fiction, autobiography and history in this musing on the colonial legacy in the Caribbean.
Derbyshire-born author Sahota’s novel depicts a disparate group Indian people thrown together in a house in Sheffield, and focuses on the pressures and pains of illegal immigration.