We’re Still Discovering America: Modern Immigrant Fiction

Shelf RenewalI just finished reading the wonderful The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henriquez. It’s a multi-voiced, literary gem—think The Tortilla Curtain (1995) meets Light in the Piazza (with a whisper of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, 2007). It reminded me of some of the other great American immigrant fiction of the past few decades. Wouldn’t Columbus Day would be the perfect time to share these tales of identity and immersion?

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon

Away, by Amy Bloom

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, by Dinaw Mengestu

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent

The Dew Breaker, by Edwidge Danticat

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz

Girl in Translation, by Jean Kowk

House of Sand and Fog, by Andre Dubus

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, by Julia Alvarez

Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan

My New American Life, by Francine Prose

The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, by Gary Shteyngart

The Tortilla Curtain, by T. C. Boyle

When I Was Puerto Rican, by Esmeralda Santiago

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About the Author:

Karen Kleckner Keefe is the director of the Hinsdale (IL) Public Library, a Booklist reviewer, and one of Library Journal's 2009 "Movers and Shakers." Follow her on Twitter at @KarenKleckner.

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