The Unamericans – Molly Antopol
A short story collection about the migration experience in America. Darkly beautiful and well written. Antopol describes various types of migrants and gives them all a voice. She writes about love and life in a such spectacular and meaningful way. What I loved most about The UnAmericans is the vastly different types of people Antopol describes and how it really seems like she gets the essence of every single one of them. It’s a very impressive read.
All Russians Love Birch Trees – Olga Grjasnowa
This book is originally written in German, but I’ve read the amazing English translation. The author, Olga Grjasnowa is originally from Azerbaijan, but fled to Germany when she was 12 years old. It’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve read about migration and love so far. All Russians Love Birch Trees is a dreamy story about a migrant girl in Frankfurt, who’s boyfriend suddenly gets hospitalized. The book is about grief, uncertainty and starting over again and again. The book reads like a dream and I absolutely loved how the girl keeps on going even though everything is falling apart. This book is translated in many languages and definitely deserves all the praise it is getting.
We Are Called to Rise – Laura McBride
Based on true events, Laura McBride tells the story of an eight year old immigrant boy and a wounded soldier who’s recovering from an injury and how their lives intertwine. The soldier is dealing with PTSD, coming back from a third tour in Iraq and the little boy and his parents are struggling to find a place for themselves in Las Vegas. They meet by chance and change each others lives forever. We are Called to Rise is a haunting and emotional story about an unbelievable coincidence that changes the lives of these characters for ever. This book is a real page-turner. I read it during a holiday and finished it on the plane on my way back and it definitely gave me something to think about.
This is a book about a migrant, who has been raised in the circus. Fly loves reading books and drives a taxi in a apocalyptic metropolis. Driving around at night he sees everything the city has to offer in all of its horrible and wondrous ways. He meets strange people and has even stranger friends. Carnival is a daunting book about life in a unknown city. I like how the taxi driver is a real bookish person, he refers to books all the time and his entire house is filled with books.
If you want even more, these are some migration books that are still waiting for me on my to-read pile:
Shards by Ismet Prcic
Family Life by Akhil Sharm
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
The Book of the Unknown Americans by Christina Henriquez
Open City by Teju Cole
What are your favorite migration reads and have you read any of these books? Let us know in the comments!
Written by Charlotte de Heer. Book Club sister #1 with way too little time on her hands.