Good Minds Suggest—Anchee Min's Favorite Immigrant Stories

Posted by Goodreads on May 1, 2013
Almost 20 years after her memoir Red Azalea became an international best seller, Chinese American writer Anchee Min continues her exceptional life story in The Cooked Seed. Beginning with her life after coming of age during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution, she describes how she leaves China in 1984 for a new start in the United States. Despite having no fluency in English, she tenaciously bluffs her way to a student visa, then hops to Chicago where she works multiple jobs and watches Sesame Street to hone her language skills. Her story is told simply, moving from bleak poverty to motherhood and stability. Min is also the author of six novels, including Empress Orchid and Pearl of China. She shares with Goodreads her favorite immigrant stories, both fiction and nonfiction.

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
"A glorious book told in an unforgettable voice. I love Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion when he describes how he endured poverty, near-starvation, and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors. [His] brilliance is in the telling of a sad story, yet one that escapes bitterness."

Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father by Richard Rodriguez
"I consider Richard Rodriguez one of America's best essayists. I love and identify with his depiction of immigrants' mental landscape, and the way he writes about the grief of the American soul makes this a masterpiece."

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
"The story of a young Latino immigrant girl growing up in Chicago. I love the poetry in the author's prose—heartbreaking yet deeply joyous. It's a passionate book, and it sings."

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
"Amy Tan is an astute storyteller; her artistry is superior. The complexity [she] captures in this book is very impressive; the strings become more tangled, more entwined as the relationships between mothers and daughters evolve over time."

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
"In The Namesake Lahiri gave depth to the immigrant experience. She offers a close examination of identity, the clash of cultures, and the conflicts between generations. The author's skill lies in her penetrating insight and perspective. I am in awe of her ability to paint intimate portraits."

Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Best Immigrant Experience Literature

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