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  • Writer's pictureNora Curry

Ink Knows No Borders: Celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month

"My hometown

remote but alive

here on my tongue"

- "Adrift," Alice Tao


June is Immigrant Heritage Month—a time to celebrate the cultures from around the world that make up our country. The immigrant experience is of course a mixed bag, often including deportation, discrimination, and struggles to fulfill hopes and dreams, to fit in without assimilating mindlessly. While it's important for all of us, no matter where we come from, to listen to and read these kinds of accounts, it's also important to celebrate the unique joys of culture and family that come with everyone's heritage. Explore the reading list below, which includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and books for both children and young adults, that explore the immigrant experience.


You can also read President Biden's "Proclamation on Immigrant Heritage Month" here. As he says, "The United States is a Nation of immigrants — shaped by the courageous people from around the world who leave their homes, lives, and loved ones to seek refuge and opportunity on our shores. Their sacrifices and entrepreneurial spirit have contributed to the rich tapestry that has defined the character of our country for generations."


Click the links below to request books from our catalog.


Fiction

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Afterlife, Julia Alvarez

Homeland Elegies, Akhtar Ayad

We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo

America Is Not the Heart, Elaine Castillo

Of Women and Salt, Gabriela Garcia

The Book of Unknown Americans, Cristina Henríquez

The Stationery Shop, Marjan Kamali

The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri

Native Speaker, Chang-rae Lee

Lost Children Archive, Valeria Luiselli

Behold the Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue

A Place For Us, Fatima Farheen Mirza

Refuge, Dina Nayeri

The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen

Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie

White Ivy, Susie Yang

Sour Heart: Stories, Jenny Zhang


Nonfiction

The Promised Land, Mary Antin

The Undocumented Americans, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Brother, I'm Dying, Edwidge Danticat

Children of the Land, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect on America, ed. Nikesh Shukla & Chimena Suleyman

New Mainers: Portraits of Our Immigrant Neighbors, Jan Pieter van Voorst van Beest


Poetry

Curb, Divya Victor

Unaccompanied, Javier Zamora


Children's and Young Adult

Isla to Island, Alexis Castellanos

Efrén Divided, Ernesto Cisneros

The Only Road, Alexandra Diaz

We Belong, Cookie Hiponia Everman

Each of Us a Universe, Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo & Ndengo Gladys Mwilelo

Living With Viola, Rosena Fung

When Stars Are Scattered, Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed

Beast Rider, Tony Johnston

The Land of Forgotten Girls, Erin Entrada Kelly

The Legend of Auntie Po, Shing Yin Khor

Pie in the Sky, Remy Lai

Silver Meadows Summer, Emma Otheguy

A Different Pond, Bao Phi and Thi Bui

Carry On: Poetry by Young Immigrants, illus. Rogé, trans. Susan Ouriou

Kiki and Jacques, Susan Ross

Esperanza Rising, Pam Muñoz Ryan

Land of the Cranes, Aida Salazar

Shooting Kabul, N.H. Senzai

Other Words for Home, Jasmine Warga

Facing Fear: An Immigration Story, Karen Lynn Williams, illus. Sara Palacios

Front Desk, Kelly Yang

New From Here, Kelly Yang

American Street, Ibi Aanu Zoboi

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