Immigrant Fiction Quotes

Quotes tagged as "immigrant-fiction" Showing 1-14 of 14
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
“I don't put much stock in remembering things. Being able to forget is a superior skill.”
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Before We Visit the Goddess

Sergio Troncoso
“It’s a great honor, m’ijo. We know that. I’m sure everyone in Ysleta is proud of you. But this is who you are," she said, for a moment scanning the dark night air and the empty street. A cricket chirped in the darkness. "God help you when you go to this ‘Havid.’ You will be so far away from us, from everything you know. You will be alone. What if something happens to you? Who’s going to help you? But you always wanted to be alone; you were always so independent, so stubborn."

"Like you.”
Sergio Troncoso, From This Wicked Patch of Dust

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
“What is the nature of life?
Life is lines of dominoes falling.
One thing leads to another, and then another, just like you'd planned. But suddenly a Domino gets skewed, events change direction, people dig in their heels, and you're faced with a situation that you didn't see coming, you who thought you were so clever.”
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Before We Visit the Goddess

Aleksandar Hemon
“Mujo is a refugee in Germany, has no job, but has a lot of time, so he goes to a Turkish bath. The bath is full of German businessmen with towels around their waists, huffing and puffing, but every once in a while a cell phone rings and they pull their phone out from under the towel and say, Bitte? Mujo seems to be the only one without a cell phone, so he goes to the bathroom and stuffs toilet paper up his butt. He walks back out, a long trail of toilet paper behind him. So a German says, you have some paper, Herr, sticking out behind you. Oh, Mujo says, it looks like I have received a fax.”
Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project

Devi S. Laskar
“Never mind that she’s been hearing this soliloquy from strangers since she was born, in the Year of the Fire Horse, twin sixes after the nineteen. Never mind the order of questions invariably changes even if the questions themselves do not: 'How long have y’all lived here? Do you even speak English? Oh, well. Your English is so good. Bless your heart, you must miss your people. You stick out like a raisin in a big bowl of oatmeal. Is it true that you worship cows? . . . Have you even heard of the Bible? Don’t get all uppity on me, don’t turn away. I know you think you don’t have to listen. But this is my country. You do. When are y’all heading back? Y’all best be getting back to where you came from, you hear? No need to overstay your welcome.”
Devi S. Laskar, The Atlas of Reds and Blues

“For the Irish, life is a matter of perpetual grievance. We remember the Famine, but forget the Draft Riots. We seal off our neighborhoods to strangers, but allow our own priests to victimize our own children. We worship violence and we enslave ourselves to alcohol, we lie and steal and kill without conscience for generations at a time. But it's all right in the end, and do you know why? Because we don't tolerate lust.”
Mary Gordon, The Other Side

Sergio Troncoso
“I hated seeing these spasmodic upside-down chicken heads stretching to puncture my flesh. I imagined once that they reached my groin and pecked out my penis and my huevos and kept pecking until they got to my gut and my eyes and my brain, until I was just a pecked-out piece of human meat surrounded by thousands of nervous, dirty white chickens. I think that was about the time I fucked up a pair of chicken heads against a warehouse wall when no one was looking. Well, almost no one. Rueben was right behind me, and that's when he grinned his stupid grin. Maybe he hated the chickens as much as I did. Maybe he just knew que ya me iba también a la chingada. Maybe I was going on my first joy ride to hell and back, and it was fun to watch.”
Sergio Troncoso, The Last Tortilla: and Other Stories

Zadie Smith
“..to put it in the modern parlance, this is a re-run. We have been here before. This is like watching TV in Bombay or Kingston or Dhaka, watching the same old British sitcoms spewed out to the old colonies in one tedious, eternal loop. Because immigrants have always been particularly prone to repetition - something to do with that experience of moving West to East or East to West or island to island. Even when you arrive, you're still going back and forth; your children are going round and round.”
Zadie Smith, White Teeth

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
“She lifts her eyes, and there is Death in the corner, but not like a king with his iron crown, as the epics claimed. Why, it is a giant brush loaded with white paint. It descends upon her with gentle suddenness, obliterating the shape of the world.”
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Before We Visit the Goddess

Sergio Troncoso
“Julia, is everything all right?” her father said in a raspy voice. “It’s three in the morning, m’ija.”

“I’m sorry. I have to talk to you; it’s something very important. Papá, Mamá, I’ve made a decision, and I wanted to share it with you. I’ve decided to convert to the Muslim religion.”

“What?” Pilar screamed. “Are you out of your mind?”

“Julia, what are you saying?”

“I want to be a Muslim. I’ve even chosen a new Muslim name, Aliyah.”

“Julia, are you drunk?”

“No, Papá, I’m not drunk. I’ve thought about this for a very long time. I think it’s the right thing for me, a way to follow God.”
Sergio Troncoso, From This Wicked Patch of Dust

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
“But inside loss there can be gain, too,like the small silver spider Bela had discovered one dewy morning, curled asleep at the center of a rose.”
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Before We Visit the Goddess

Sergio Troncoso
“I made many decisions, some awful and others brilliant, but I found ways to keep that openness in my soul that meant more to me than breathing. I told them over the years what I was doing, how I was trying what no one in my family had ever tried to do. When I was failing, I admitted that as well, and they listened politely. I also knew that’s all they could do. One lonely night in Connecticut, I pulled myself from a window’s ledge. No one else next to me. Another day I chose to do something someone like me should have never accomplished, and yet I did, and kept going. I learned to recognize when others, like Jean, were much better than me, because they had faith in my soul. I believed in very little, but I kept going until I would get tired or defeated, and then I would take time to discover another wall to throw myself at. I was, and I am, and I will be, a peculiar kind of immigrant’s son. I got old, and that made everything better, including me.”
Sergio Troncoso, A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
“Would you like to come in?" I said. My hands were sweaty. Inside my chest an ocean heaved and crashed and heaved again.
"I would," he said. I saw his Adam's apple jerk as he swallowed. "Thank you."
I was distracted by that thank you. We had moved past the language of formality long ago. It was strange to relearn it with each other.”
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Before We Visit the Goddess

Manreet Sodhi Someshwar
“In Manhattan, brown men were either cab drivers or Wall Street bankers, immigrants or expatriates, the gulf between them as wide as a skyscraper was tall.”
Manreet Sodhi Someshwar, The Radiance of a Thousand Suns