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Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing
by Ilan Stavans
Immigration is the essential American story. From London or Lvov, Bombay or Beijing, Dublin or Dusseldorf, people have come to America to remake themselves, their lives, and their identities. Despite political obstacles, popular indifference, or hostility, they put down roots here, and their social, cultural, and entrepreneurial energies helped forge the open and diverse s ...more
Hardcover, 850 pages
Published October 15th 2009 by Library of America
(first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 142)
A long book, to be sure, but interesting in that its excerpts from autobiographies or biographical novels, poems, well-constructed essays may easily read in short bursts. As a fourth generation American, it's interesting to experience becoming one from immigrant perspectives. I guess, ultimately, entering this 'melting pot' is never what one expects it to be; there were very few whole-hearted reminiscences of the procedure presented here. Perhaps the most surprising, yet continuous theme through ...more
Fabulous and very wide-ranging collection of writings portraying both the negative and positive aspects of the immigrant experience, comprising fiction, poetry, and memoir. I was impressed too by the wide range of nationalities that were represented. Many of the memoir excerpts made me want to buy the full books.
A great book to keep by the toilet if you have a lot of immigrant friends or friends with an interest in American history via primary docs. Seriously though, this is a really neat book and money goes to the NEA. This is a Library of America collection, great stuff.
Ilan Stavans is the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. An award-winning writer and public television host, his books include Growing Up Latino and Spanglish. A native of Mexico City, he lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.More about Ilan Stavans...