Austin Kocher, PhD
I'm curious: what's your favorite book about immigration? All genres welcome.
Book mentions in this thread
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
by Ocean Vuong"Brilliant, heartbreaking, tender, and highly original - poet Ocean Vuong's debut novel is a sweeping and shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born--a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam--and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity"--
The Undocumented Americans
by Karla Cornejo VillavicencioOne of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation. Traveling across the country, journalist Karla Cornejo Villavicencio risked arrest at every turn to report the extraordinary stories of her fellow undocumented Americans. Her subjects have every reason to be wary around reporters, but Cornejo Villavicencio has unmatched access to their stories. Her work culminates in a stunning, essential read for our times. Born in Ecuador and brought to the United States when she was five years old, Cornejo Villavicencio has lived the American Dream. Raised on her father's deliveryman income, she later became one of the first undocumented students admitted into Harvard. She is now a doctoral candidate at Yale University and has written for The New York Times. She weaves her own story among those of the eleven million undocumented who have been thrust into the national conversation today as never before. Looking well beyond the flashpoints of the border or the activism of the DREAMERS, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented as rarely seen in our daily headlines. In New York we meet the undocumented workers who were recruited in the federally funded Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11. In Miami we enter the hidden botanicas, which offer witchcraft and homeopathy to those whose status blocks them from any other healthcare options. In Flint, Michigan, we witness how many live in fear as the government issues raids at grocery stores and demands identification before offering life-saving clean water. The Undocumented Americans powerfully reveals the hidden corners of our nation of immigrants. Karla Cornejo Villavicencio brings to light remarkable stories of hope and resilience, and through them we come to understand what it truly means to be American.
One Mighty and Irresistible Tide
by Jia Lynn YangA sweeping history of the twentieth-century battle to reform American immigration laws that set the stage for today’s roiling debates. The idea of the United States as a nation of immigrants is at the core of the American narrative. But in 1924, Congress instituted a system of ethnic quotas so stringent that it choked off large-scale immigration for decades, sharply curtailing arrivals from southern and eastern Europe and outright banning those from nearly all of Asia. In a riveting narrative filled with a fascinating cast of characters, from the indefatigable congressman Emanuel Celler and senator Herbert Lehman to the bull-headed Nevada senator Pat McCarran, Jia Lynn Yang recounts how lawmakers, activists, and presidents from Truman through LBJ worked relentlessly to abolish the 1924 law. Through a world war, a refugee crisis after the Holocaust, and a McCarthyist fever, a coalition of lawmakers and activists descended from Jewish, Irish, and Japanese immigrants fought to establish a new principle of equality in the American immigration system. Their crowning achievement, the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, proved to be one of the most transformative laws in the country’s history, opening the door to nonwhite migration at levels never seen before—and changing America in ways that those who debated it could hardly have imagined. Framed movingly by her own family’s story of immigration to America, Yang’s One Mighty and Irresistible Tide is a deeply researched and illuminating work of history, one that shows how Americans have strived and struggled to live up to the ideal of a home for the "huddled masses," as promised in Emma Lazarus’s famous poem.
by Ann LeckieWinner of the Hugo, Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance. In the Ancillary world: 1. Ancillary Justice2. Ancillary Sword3. Ancillary Mercy
The Broken Earth Trilogy
by N. K. JemisinThis special boxed set includes the New York Times bestselling author N. K. Jemisin's complete, two-time Hugo award-winning Broken Earth Trilogy. This is the way the world ends. For the last time. A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy. The Broken Earth trilogyThe Fifth SeasonThe Obelisk GateThe Stone Sky
Let Their People Come
by Lant PritchettIn Let Their People Come, Lant Pritchett discusses five "irresistible forces" of global labor migration, and the "immovable ideas" that form a political backlash against it. Increasing wage gaps, different demographic futures, "everything but labor" globalization, and the continued employment growth in low skilled, labor intensive industries all contribute to the forces compelling labor to migrate across national borders. Pritchett analyzes the fifth irresistible force of "ghosts and zombies," or the rapid and massive shifts in desired populations of countries, and says that this aspect has been neglected in the discussion of global labor mobility. Let Their People Come provides six policy recommendations for unskilled immigration policy that seek to reconcile the irresistible force of migration with the immovable ideas in rich countries that keep this force in check. In clear, accessible prose, this volume explores ways to regulate migration flows so that they are a benefit to both the global North and global South.