This is a story of finding. Of wanting. Of belonging. Of family, both found and chosen. Most of all, it is a funny, endearing, and touching. With a background of literary nods, and a skater punk "who gives a damn" aesthetic, I , a 40 something year old women, still found myself in these pages.
Perhaps the best, and certainly funniest, personal account of American assimilation and cultural erasure I've ever read, this book is about losing one's language but finding meaning behind it. Throughout this book author Robert Lopez ruminates on his grandfather's immigration to the United States in the 1920s. Lopez makes some connections but finds little shared commonality between his and his grandfather's lives because there are no familial memories to speak of. This is such an inventive memoir full of deep thoughts and incredibly hilarious lines.
Taking its title from the real "Operation Wandering Soul" American propaganda campaign during the Vietnam War, this beautiful novel tells the story of a family of three young refugees from Vietnam moving to England after the war. What follows is a haunting story of survival and generational grief over the span of 60 years. Wonderfully crafted using interweaving perspectives, this brisk 200+ page powerhouse of a novel is one that can be read in a single sitting but can have characters that stay with you forever.
If "every story is the sound of a storyteller begging to stay alive..." as Daniel says, then he and his family deserve to live forever--purely off the crackling energy of these tales and the way they will echo in your mind long after the words have been read. Part musings on truth and memory, part memoir of a young immigrant trying to find his place in midwest America, this book will captivate and resonate with a wide variety of readers.
To anyone who has ever wondered about their history, struggled to understand their family, or been a victim of bureaucracy; to the children of strong mothers, the parents of observant children, and the family members of angry adults that should know better; to lovers of poetry and folklore and far off places; to anyone (so everyone!) with flaws--you will find a kindred spirit here.
Blanco was the first openly gay, Latino, immigrant, as well as the youngest person to be the US inaugural poet when he read for Obama's second term. He brings this energy with him in this collection, his beautiful language depicting such heartbreak toward America's tendency for gun violence, racism, and LGBTQ oppression. Throughout, you can see him struggling with the idea of nationhood, digging his way closer to the answer of how to truly love a country.
A dystopian YA novel that tackles immigration and what it means to seek refuge in a country that does not want you. Very original storytelling that left my heart racing till the very end.
One of the best queer stories I've read in a long time. A young Colombian girl is uprooted from her home and moves to Miami with her family. Her mom becomes a member of a local Evangelical church and pushes her reluctant daughter to join her. Things begin to really unfold when our main character begins to fall for the pastor's daughter. I can't recommend this novel enough!
This book will be making my best of 2020 list for sure. If you read the novel American Dirt and enjoyed it, then I dare you to pick this up. This explores the real lives of undocumented Americans and what they have contributed to this country. You may find yourself surprised to find what they have done for all of us.