The Reading List: Novels about Immigrants

Welcome to The Reading List, a new occasional series where we provide some recommended reading on a topic!

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Image from NBC News

Next month, our Fiction Book Discussion Group will be led by former head of Public Services, Sherry Evans. All are welcome to read Family Life by Akhil Sharma.

The Mishras come to America in the late-1970s, the father first, in the wake of new U.S. immigration laws and the Indian Emergency, when the narrator, Ajay, is eight, and his brother Birju is 12. There are lovely scenes of their life in Delhi before they leave, the mother making wicks from the cotton in pill bottles, the parade of neighbors when their plane tickets to America arrive.

For further reading, Sherry has compiled a list of novels all about the immigrant experience!

Titles are linked to our library catalog so you can easily request each book.

See also Cathy’s Hidden Gems post on Eastern Europe/Russian immigrant stories!

Americanah  by Chimamanda  Ngozi Adichie (See also Laura’s review of this novel.)

The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears  by Dinaw Mengestu

Breath, Eyes, Memory  by Edwidge Danticat

Cutting for Stone  by Abraham Verghese

A Fine Balance  by Rohinton Mistry

Girl in Translation  by Jean Kwok

The Good Braider  by Terry Farish

House of Sand and Fog  by Andre Dubus

Interpreter of Maladies  Jhumpa Lahiri

Into the Beautiful North  by Luis Alberta Urrea

Little Bee  by Chris Cleave

My New American Life  by Francine Prose

The Same Sky  by  Amanda Eyre Ward

Tortilla Curtain  by T. C. Boyle

We Need New Names by  NoViolet Bulawayo

What is the What  by Dave Eggers

White Teeth by Zadie Smith


The library’s Fiction Book Club will meet on Monday, March 13 at 1 PM and 7 PM to discuss Akhil Sharma’s Family Life. Come to either session to share your thoughts on this novel. Copies are available for checkout with a PPL card. For more information about our book discussion groups, visit our website.

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