Book review | Reader's Advisory | Diversity | Immigrants in the US
One way to regard the refugees in the news these frenzied past few days is as potential Americans, individuals and families escaping bad situations who imagine themselves building new lives here. What these particular refugees could become in this country, and how they could contribute to our society and culture, is a question stuck in suspended animation. But we do have the power to look to the past. And in the literary realm it’s unquestionable that refugees, once here, often make major contributions.
Through the 20th century and into this one, those fleeing political persecution or war have produced important works that we think of now as at least partly American, from fiction about the harrowing experiences of exile and dislocation to political treatises by thinkers who want to understand why their homelands fell apart. This is a sampling of 25 of those works.