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Home Now: How 6000 Refugees Transformed an American Town

Home Now: How 6000 Refugees Transformed an American Town

by Cynthia Anderson

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A moving chronicle of who belongs in America.

Like so many American factory towns, Lewiston, Maine, thrived until its mill jobs disappeared and the young began leaving. But then the story unexpectedly veered: over the course of fifteen years, the city became home to thousands of African immigrants and, along the way, turned into one of the most Muslim towns in the US. Now about 6,000 of Lewiston's 36,000 inhabitants are refugees and asylum seekers, many of them Somali. Cynthia Anderson tells the story of this fractious yet resilient city near where she grew up, offering the unfolding drama of a community's reinvention--and humanizing some of the defining political issues in America today.

In Lewiston, progress is real but precarious. Anderson takes the reader deep into the lives of both immigrants and lifelong Mainers: a single Muslim mom, an anti-Islamist activist, a Congolese asylum seeker, a Somali community leader. Their lives unfold in these pages as anti-immigrant sentiment rises across the US and national realities collide with those in Lewiston. Home Now gives a poignant account of America's evolving relationship with religion and race, and makes a sensitive yet powerful case for embracing change.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541767881
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 10/29/2019
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 28 MB
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About the Author

Cynthia Anderson grew up in western Maine. Her collection of stories, River Talk, was a Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2014 and received the 2014 New England Book Festival award for Short Stories. Other work has appeared in the Christian ScienceMonitor, Boston Magazine, the Miami Herald, the Iowa Review, Redbook, Huffington Post, and others. Anderson lives with her family in Maine and Massachusetts. She teaches writing at Boston University.

Table of Contents

People Who Appear in This Book vii

Glossary of Somali, Arabic, and Other Terms ix

Introduction 1

1 Early Spring 2016 11

2 May-June 2016 25

3 Beginnings 43

4 Summer 2016 61

5 Opposition 85

6 Late Summer-Fall 2016 101

7 Beginnings II 127

8 Late Fall 2016-Winter 2017 141

9 Early Spring 2017 161

10 Badbaadiye (Survivors): Spring 2017 183

11 Madadaalo (Celebrations): Late Spring-Early Summer 2017 199

12 Summer2017 217

13 Bulshada Aayar Ar (Making Community): Summer 2017 235

14 Fall 2017 255

15 December 2017-March 2018 275

16 Summer 2018-January 2019 299

Afterword 313

Author's Note 315

Acknowledgments 316

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