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The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen, called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced, a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines.

Today the world faces an enormous refugee crisis: 68.5 million people fleeing persecution and conflict from Myanmar to South Sudan and Syria, a figure worse than the flight of Jewish and other Europeans during World War II and beyond anything the world has seen in this generation. Yet in the United States, United Kingdom, and other countries with the means to welcome refugees, anti-immigration politics and fear seem poised to shut the door. Even for readers seeking to help, the sheer scale of the problem renders the experience of refugees hard to comprehend.

Viet Nguyen, called “one of our great chroniclers of displacement” (Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker), brings together writers originally from Mexico, Bosnia, Iran, Afghanistan, Soviet Ukraine, Hungary, Chile, Ethiopia, and elsewhere to make their stories heard. They are formidable in their own right—MacArthur Genius grant recipients, National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award finalists, filmmakers, speakers, lawyers, professors, and The New Yorker contributors—and they are all refugees, many as children arriving in London and Toronto, Oklahoma and Minnesota, South Africa and Germany. Their 17 contributions are as diverse as their own lives have been, and yet hold just as many themes in common.

Reyna Grande questions the line between “official” refugee and “illegal” immigrant, chronicling the disintegration of the family forced to leave her behind; Fatima Bhutto visits Alejandro Iñárritu’s virtual reality border crossing installation “Flesh and Sand”; Aleksandar Hemon recounts a gay Bosnian’s answer to his question, “How did you get here?”; Thi Bui offers two uniquely striking graphic panels; David Bezmozgis writes about uncovering new details about his past and attending a hearing for a new refugee; and Hmong writer Kao Kalia Yang recalls the courage of children in a camp in Thailand.

“There is no single refugee story, and as the editor of The Displaced, a collection of refugee writers exploring and reflecting on their experiences, Viet Thanh Nguyen gives these stories room to breath and unfurl.” —Millions

List of contributors:
Joseph Azam
David Bezmozgis
Fatima Bhutto
Thi Bui
Ariel Dorfman
Lev Golinkin
Reyna Grande
Meron Hadero
Aleksandar Hemon
Joseph Kertes
Porochista Khakpour
Marina Lewycka
Maaza Mengiste
Dina Nayeri
Vu Tran
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
Kao Kalia Yang

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419729485
Publisher: Abrams Press
Publication date: 04/10/2018
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 707,751
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam in 1971. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, he and his family fled to the United States. The author of three books, Nguyen is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and professor of English and American studies and ethnicity at University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

Introduction Viet Thanh Nguyen 11

The Road Chris Abani 23

Last, First, Middle Joseph Azam 31

Common Story David Bezmozgis 43

Flesh and Sand Fatima Bhutto 51

Perspective and What Gets Lost Thi Bui 61

How Succulent Food Defeated Trump's Wall Before It Has Been Built Ariel Doreman 67

Guests of the Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa Lev Golinkin 75

The Parent Who Stays Reyna Grande 81

To Walk in Their Shoes Meron Hadero 91

God's Fate Aleksandar Hemon 99

Second Country Joseph Kertes 113

13 Ways of Being an Immigrant Porochista Khakpour 121

Refugees and Exiles Marina Lewvcka 129

This Is What the Journey Does Maaza Mengiste 137

The Ungrateful Refugee Dina Nayeri 145

Am I a Refugee? Raja Shehadeh 159

A Refugee Again Vu Tran 165

New Lands, New Selves Novuyo Rosa Tshuma 173

Refugee Children: The Yang Warriors Kao Kalia Yang 189

List of Contributors 197


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