Becoming American: Personal Essays by First Generation Immigrant Women

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Now in paperback -- "A compelling collection . . . providing insights into the variety of immigrant experiences." --Publishers Weekly

Take part in an extraordinary journey through the lives of 23 first-generation immigrant women as they uncover their own unique experiences in the new world. In this remarkable collection of original essays, these acclaimed writers speak to issues of identity, ethnicity, and race, as well as how the self begins ...

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Overview

Now in paperback -- "A compelling collection . . . providing insights into the variety of immigrant experiences." --Publishers Weekly

Take part in an extraordinary journey through the lives of 23 first-generation immigrant women as they uncover their own unique experiences in the new world. In this remarkable collection of original essays, these acclaimed writers speak to issues of identity, ethnicity, and race, as well as how the self begins to take on and absorb the label "American."

Some of the contributors in Becoming American include: Nina Barragan -- Argentina; Lilianet Brintrup -- Chile; Veronica Chambers -- Panama; Judith Ortiz Cofer -- Puerto Rico; Edwidge Danticat -- Haiti; Gabrielle Donnelly -- England; Lynn Freed -- South Africa; Akuyoe Graham -- Ghana; Lucy Grealy -- Ireland; Suheir Hammad -- Jordan/Palestine; Ginu Kamani -- India; Nola Kambanda -- Burundi/Rwanda; Helen Kim -- Korea; Kyoko Mori -- Japan; Irina Reyn -- Russia; Joyce Zonana -- Egypt

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For many of the immigrant writers in this revealing anthology, the fusion of "old country" customs, habits and lifestyles with those of the "new country" is fueled by pride and shame, determination and denial. Yet for others, the transition is made with relative ease. As a whole, this compelling collection illustrates that the speed of acclimation depends upon factors ranging from the writer's presuppositions to the time and location of her arrival in America. In an untitled essay, Lillianet Brintraup relates the uncomfortable experience of arriving from Chile to join a Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan, where the hectic pace and long work hours made her long for home. In "Secret Latina at Large," Veronica Chambers reflects on her first trip, at age 27, to her native Panama where she reveled in that country's similarities to her home in Brooklyn, as well as in its differences. Edwidge Danticat's "AHA!: Reflections On" is a sad reminder of America's prejudicial attitudes toward African-Haitian-Americans. Editor Danquah (Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman's Journey Through Depression) has gathered writers from Japan, China, Burundi, Ireland and a host of other countries who testify to the influence of American television, the politics involved in choosing a language and the effects of climate, fast food and dress on the assimilation process. Providing insights into the variety of immigrant experiences, they dispel the belief that "in order to move toward something, one must move away from something else." (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
These essays by 23 women tell the story of finding one's place and one's self after immigrating to the United States. The diversity of their homelands--Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe--make each story unique. Some of the essays come from writers already well known in the United States, such as Judith Ortiz Cofer and Edwidge Danticat. All are well-written, thoughtful, amusing, poignant, and compelling. Most of the essayists come from middle-class and privileged backgrounds; for them, immigration often meant following a parent or spouse hired at a university or corporation. Or, they themselves came to pursue graduate degrees or high-level job opportunities. Although they may not speak for poor immigrants pursuing a better life, their stories still show that fitting into a new culture can be difficult and frustrating. Recommended for all public libraries.--Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786883431
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 8/8/2001
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Doing Archaeology in My America 1
Turbulent Times 12
Secret Latina at Large 21
Rituals: A Prayer, a Candle, and a Notebook 29
AHA! 39
Coming Home 45
Embracing the Alien 55
The Remembering 68
The Country of Childhood 76
A Road Still Becoming 85
Code Switching 95
My New World Journey 104
Beyond Boundaries 113
Disassembling Helie 126
Becoming Midwestern 138
Recalling a Child of October 146
On Becoming 156
Now Is the Time to Try Something--But Have I Got Nine Lives? 165
Whispered Histories 176
Reluctant Citizen 187
Unbecoming American 198
The Language of Dreams 210
All My Relations 222
Editor & Contributor Bios 233
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    good read.  currently out of print.

    good read.  currently out of print.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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