Saturday, December 5, 2009

Book Suggestions for Immigrant Stories Challenge

Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm Toibin
Forever: A Novel by Pete Hamill
Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee
A Gesture Life: A Novel  by Chang-rae Lee
Unaccustomed Earth: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) by Jhumpa Lahiri
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Namesake: A Novel by Jhimpa Lahiri
The Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle
97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegelman
White Teeth: A Novel by Zadie Smith
Who's Irish?: Stories by Gish Jen
My Ántonia (Oxford World's Classics) by Willa Cather
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents by Minal Harjratwala
Stealing Buddha's Dinner  by Bich Minh Nguyen
Short Girls: A Novel by Bich Minh Nguyen
A Beginner's Guide to Acting English by Shappi Khorsandi
Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English: A Novel by Natasha Solomons
I'll Know It When I See It: A Daughter's Search for Home in Ireland by Alice Carey
Saffron Dreams by Shaila Abdullah
Brick Lane: A Novel by Monica Ali
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
Away: A Novel by Amy Bloom
Little Bee: A Novel by Chris Cleave
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Netherland (Vintage Contemporaries)  by Joseph O'Neill
Russian Debutante's Handbook by Gary Shtenyngart
Kafka's Curse: A Novel by Achmat Dangor
Strength in What Remains (Random House Reader's Circle) by Tracy Kidder
Shanghai Girls: A Novel  by Lisa See
Beautiful Maria of My Soul  by Oscar Hijuelos
Zeitoun (Vintage) by Dave Eggers
Veil of Roses  by Laura Fitzgerald
Honolulu  by Alan Brennert
American Born Chinese  by Gene Luen Yang
The Girl from Purple Mountain: Love, Honor, War, and One Family's Journey from China to America  by May-Lee Chai, Winberg Chai
Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America  by Firoozeh Dumas
Maus : A Survivor's Tale : My Father Bleeds History/Here My Troubles Began/Boxed by Art Spiegelman
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers: Stories by Yiyun Li
The Secret River by Kate Grenville
The Road from Damascus by Robin Yassin-Kassab
Digging to America: A Novel by Anne Tyler
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)  by Helen Simonson
Bitter Sweets  by Roopa Farooki
Bread Givers: A Novel  by Anzia Yezierska
Stalina  by Emily Rubin
The Free World: A Novel by David Bezmozgis

Links to Reviews of Books Read by Past Immigrant Stories Challenge Participants (alphabetical by author):
Aghdashloo, Shoreh: The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines (Book Dilettante)
Aghdashloo, Shoreh: The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines (Books in the City)
Albright, Madeleine: Prague Winter (Book Dilettante)
Austin, Lynn: While We're Far Apart (Krystyn)
Baker, Christina: The Orphan Train (Introverted Reader)
Belfar, Edward: The Wanderers (Unabridged Chick)
Borg, Todd: Tahoe Trap (Book Dilettante)
Bowen, Rhys: Death of Riley (Avid Series Reader)
Bowen, Rhys: Murphy's Law (Avid Series Reader)
Brosgol, Vera: Anya's Ghost (Introverted Reader)
Cameron, DeAnna: Dancing At the Chance (Unabridged Chick)
Cardillo, Margaret: Just Being Audrey (Gathering Books)*
Chiofalo, Rosanna: Bella Fortuna (Books in the City)
Cleave, Chris: Little Bee (Books in the City)
Davis-Gardner, Angela: Butterfly's Child (Unabridged Chick)
Desrochers, Suzanne: The Bride of New France (Unabridged Chick)
Diaz, Junot: This Is How You Lose Her (Introverted Reader)
Durrell, Lawrence: Judith (Unabridged Chick)
Edwards, Yvette: A Cupboard Full of Coats (Book Dilettante)
Fu, Ping: Bend, Not Break (Book Dilettante)
Garstang, Clifford: What The Zhang Boys Know: A Novel in Stories (Book Dilettante)
Gourley, Candy: Tall Story (Gathering Books)*
Harrison, Kathryn: Enchantments (Unabridged Chick)
Hays, Avery: The Sixth (Unabridged Chick)
Heller, Linda: The Castle on Hester Street (Gathering Books)*
Hough, Jason: The Darwin Elevator (Unabridged Chick)
Hughes, Robert: The Fatal Shore (Caroline Bookbinder)
Jasperjohn, William: The Two Brothers (Gathering Books)*
Jean-Murat, Carolle: Voodoo in My Blood (Unabridged Chick)
Kalla, Daniel: The Far Side of the Sky (Book Dilettante)
Keltner, Kim Wong: Tiger Babies Strike Back (Book Dilettante)
Kerrigan, Kate: City of Hope (Books in the City)
Kidder, Tracy: Strength in What Remains (Caroline Bookbinder)
Kohler, Sheila: The Bay of Foxes (Unabridged Chick)
Kwok, Jean: Girl in Translation (JoV's Book Pyramid)
Kwok, Jean: Girl in Translation (Krystyn)
LaCava, Stephanie: An Extraordinary Theory of Objects (Unabridged Chick)
Laugheed, K.B.: The Spirit Keeper (Unabridged Chick)
Levine, Ellen: I Hate English (Gathering Books)*
Markovits, Anouk: I Am Forbidden (Unabridged Chick)
McCoy, Sarah: The Baker's Daughter (Krystn)
McCoy, Sarah: The Baker's Daughter (Unabridged Chick)
McCoy, Sarah: The Baker's Daughter (Diane R at Goodreads)
Marsden, John and Tan, Shaun: The Rabbits (Gathering Books)*
Moxley, Mitch: Apologies To My Censors (Introverted Reader)
O'Brien, Timothy: The Lincoln Conspiracy (Unabridged Chick)
Parssinen, Keija: The Ruins of Us (Col at Col Reads)
Pavone, Chris: The Expats (Unabridged Chick)
Perkins, Emily: The Forrests (Unabridged Chick)
Phan, Aimee: The Reeducation of Cherry Truong (Books in the City)
Platt, Donald Michael: House of Rocamora (Unabridged  Chick)
Rao, Simi: An Uncurable Insanity (Book Dilettante)
Recorvits, Helen: My Name is Yoon (Gathering Books)*
Recorvits, Helen: Yoon and the Christmas Mitten (Gathering Books)*
Reyes, Cynthia: A Good Home (Book Dilettante)
Russell, Elaine: Across The Mekong River (Book Dilettante)
Sachs, Dana: Secret of the Nightingale Palace (Book Dilettante)
Sachs, Dana: Secret of the Nightingale Palace (Books in the City)
Say, Allen: El Chino (Gathering Books)*
Say, Allen: Grandfather's Journey (Gathering Books)*
Say, Allen: Music for Alice (Gathering Books)*
Sheene, Lynn: The Last Time I Saw Paris (Krystyn)
Simons, Paullina: Children of Liberty (Unabridged Chick)
Smith, Zadie: White Teeth (bookwanderer)
Solomons, Natasha: The Novel in the Viola (Introverted Reader)
Sreenivasan, Jyotsna: And Laughter Fell From the Sky (Books in the City)
St. John, Warren: Outcasts United (Caroline Bookbinder)
Thanhha, Lai: Inside Out and Back Again (Diane R at Goodreads)
Trigiani, Adriana: Lucia, Lucia (Books in the City)
Trigiani, Adriana: The Shoemaker's Wife (Books in the City)
Trigiani, Adriana: The Shoemaker's Wife (Diane R at Goodreads)
Troy, Peter: May The Road Rise Up To Meet You (Avid Series Reader)
Ung, Luong: Lucky Child (Books in the City)
Ung, Luong: Lulu in the Sky (Book Dilettante)
Van Booy, Simon: The Illusion of Separateness (Book Dilettante)
Verghese, Abraham: Cutting for Stone (Introverted Reader)
Wahab, Saima: In My Father's Country (Book Dilettante)
Wahab, Saima: In My Father's Country (Unabridged Chick)
Wan, Helen:  The Partner Track (Books in the City)
Wecker, Helene: Golem and Jinni (Unabridged Chick)
Yep, Laurence: When The Circus Came To Town (Gathering Books) *
Zobair, Jennifer: Painted Hands (Books in the City)

To learn more about the Immigrant Stories Challenge 2013 and to sign up, click here!


  1. Sounds like a great challenge!

    Some other suggestions:


    Shanghai Girls, Lisa See
    Veil of Roses, Laura Fitzgerald
    Honolulu, Alan Brennert
    American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang


    The Devil's Highway, Luis Alberto Urrea
    The Girl from Purple Mountain, Winberg Chai and May-lee Chai
    Stealing Buddha's Dinner, Bich Mihn Nguyen
    Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
    Funny in Farsi, Firoozeh Dumas
    Maus, Art Spiegelman

  2. kenpen - thanks for these suggestions - will definitely add them to the post!

  3. I have two suggestions:

    The Night Counters by Alia Yunis
    Bitter Sweets by Roopa Farooki

    I thoroughly enjoyed both!

  4. I just finished reading When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt, and it was fabulous. It would definitely fit in with this challenge (it's about a woman who leaves her home in Italy and comes to America).

  5. This is my list for the Immigration Stories Challenge
    Brooklyn - by Coln Toben
    Brick Lane by Monica Ali
    Major Pettingrew Last Stand by Helen Simonson
    Chef by Jaspreet Singh
    Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald
    Leaving India by Manual Hajratwald

  6. Brooklyn is required reading for all freshmen entering the NYU film program (maybe the whole school, but the film program for sure). My son wasn't crazy about it but I read it too and thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was going take place at the turn of the century but it's the early 50's and has some fascinating glimpses into life in Brooklyn during the time period.