Category Literature

‘Tell Me How It Ends’: Insights into the Unaccompanied Children Crisis

In March 2015, Valeria Luiselli began volunteering as an interpreter for unaccompanied children appearing before the New York City immigration court. A Mexican writer and novelist, Luiselli’s only previous experience with the U.S. immigration system involved her own green card application (then still pending). She was captivated by the news stories she heard about tens […]

“A place in the generous heart of America”: Reflecting on New York’s immigrant history through Tyler Anbinder’s City of Dreams

I moved to New York City seven months ago, and I’ve spent the last several weeks lugging an extra heavy bag onto the subway during my commutes. Besides my laptop, the main culprit is a 735-page hardcover book – Tyler Anbinder’s City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York. When I manage […]

Favorite Immigration Reads of 2016

As in 2014 and 2015, these books on our annual list weren’t necessarily published in 2016.  Rather, this is an opportunity for contributors and guest contributors to share their favorite migration related reads of the year with our readers. – The Editors. Stacy Jones – Two years ago, actress Diane Guerrero made headlines when she […]

Book review: fiction captures the complex realities of Calais life

This summer, an independent publishing company in London released a book of short stories in an effort to bring more attention to the refugee crisis in Europe.  Titled breach, the book, though fiction, is based on the interviews that authors Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes conducted in the Calais refugee camp in northern France, in […]

Favorite Immigration Reads of 2015

Below are our favorite immigration reads of 2015. They range from fiction to non-fiction to short stories and memoir, and are geared to varying degrees of relaxation and contemplation for the library of migrationists everywhere.  These books were not necessarily published in 2015, simply read this year by a regular contributor or guest contributor, and enjoyed […]

Colonial Returns: Tom Roberts’s Coming South

Countless nineteenth-century travelogues were written by Britons visiting the settler colonies: Charles Dickens wrote about his time in North America, Anthony Trollope described his travels in Australasia and South Africa, Rudyard Kipling wrote about all of the above. Far less common and less celebrated are recorded journeys from the other perspective: Americans or Australians travelling […]

Review of ‘Homesickness: An American History’ by Susan J. Matt

By Sara Burnett In a nation that’s been around for over 200 years, a surprising number of Americans still trace their ancestry to the countries where their families immigrated from before they came to the U.S.  Among the many persistent myths of U.S. immigration, is the one of eternal optimism and relentless enthusiasm despite the […]

Immigration Stories: The more things change, the more they stay the same

I recently had a chance to read a book that I’ve been wanting to dive into for years. Immigration Stories, edited by David A. Martin and Peter H. Schuck, is part of the Stories Series, which relates the political and historical context behind some of the more important case law in a variety of different […]

Favorite Immigration Reads of 2014

If you’re anything like me, you mine these end-of-the-year book lists for your 2015 “to-read” list. So here’s an immigration-themed to-read list from the contributors here at The Migrationist that spans both fiction and non-fiction.  There’s some themes – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah is mentioned by several of us, author W.G. Sebald got multiple shout outs. […]

“Undocumented” is not as old as you think it is

Aviva Chomsky’s most recent book, Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal (Beacon Press, 2014), brings up a common narrative most American children learn early on in school: “We are a country of immigrants.” Throughout the book, Chomsky questions the historically situated ways in which we have defined who is an immigrant and who is not, largely […]