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The ungrateful refugee : what immigrants never tell you /

by Nayeri, Dina [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Catapult, 2019.Description: 350 pages ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9781948226424; 1948226421.Subject(s): Nayeri, Dina -- Childhood and youth | Refugee children -- Iran | Refugee children -- Social conditions | Refugees -- Biography | Refugees | Iran -- Refugees -- BiographySummary: In her first work of nonfiction, winner of the 2018 UNESCO City of Literature Paul Engle Prize Dina Nayeri--an author whose "exploration of the exile's predicament is tender and urgent" (The New Yorker)--examines what it means to be a refugee through her own story of childhood escape from Iran, and through the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers.Summary: What is it like to be a refugee? It is a question many of us do not give much thought to, and yet there are more than 25 million refugees in the world. Aged eight, Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother and lived in the crumbling shell of an Italian hotel-turned-refugee-camp. Eventually she was granted asylum in America. She settled in Oklahoma, then made her way to Princeton University. In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement. In these pages, a couple fall in love over the phone, and women gather to prepare the noodles that remind them of home. A closeted queer man tries to make his case truthfully as he seeks asylum, and a translator attempts to help new arrivals present their stories to officials. Nayeri confronts notions like "the swarm," and, on the other hand, "good" immigrants. She calls attention to the harmful way in which Western governments privilege certain dangers over others. With surprising and provocative questions, The Ungrateful Refugee challenges us to rethink how we talk about the refugee crisis.
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Item type Home library Collection Shelving location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Books Books Altadena Main Library
Adult Collection Adult New Arrivals 305.9069 NAY Checked out 03/06/2020 39270004869222

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

A Finalist for the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction<br> <br> "Nayeri combines her own experience with those of refugees she meets as an adult, telling their stories with tenderness and reverence." -- The New York Times Book Review <br> "Nayeri weaves her empowering personal story with those of the 'feared swarms' . . . Her family's escape from Isfahan to Oklahoma, which involved waiting in Dubai and Italy, is wildly fascinating . . . Using energetic prose, Nayeri is an excellent conduit for these heart-rending stories, eschewing judgment and employing care in threading the stories in with her own . . . This is a memoir laced with stimulus and plenty of heart at a time when the latter has grown elusive." -- Star-Tribune (Minneapolis) <br> Aged eight, Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother and lived in the crumbling shell of an Italian hotel-turned-refugee camp. Eventually she was granted asylum in America. She settled in Oklahoma, then made her way to Princeton University. In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement. In these pages, a couple fall in love over the phone, and women gather to prepare the noodles that remind them of home. A closeted queer man tries to make his case truthfully as he seeks asylum, and a translator attempts to help new arrivals present their stories to officials.<br> Nayeri confronts notions like "the swarm," and, on the other hand, "good" immigrants. She calls attention to the harmful way in which Western governments privilege certain dangers over others. With surprising and provocative questions, The Ungrateful Refugee challenges us to rethink how we talk about the refugee crisis.<br> "A writer who confronts issues that are key to the refugee experience." --Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer and The Refugees

In her first work of nonfiction, winner of the 2018 UNESCO City of Literature Paul Engle Prize Dina Nayeri--an author whose "exploration of the exile's predicament is tender and urgent" (The New Yorker)--examines what it means to be a refugee through her own story of childhood escape from Iran, and through the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers.

What is it like to be a refugee? It is a question many of us do not give much thought to, and yet there are more than 25 million refugees in the world. Aged eight, Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother and lived in the crumbling shell of an Italian hotel-turned-refugee-camp. Eventually she was granted asylum in America. She settled in Oklahoma, then made her way to Princeton University. In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement. In these pages, a couple fall in love over the phone, and women gather to prepare the noodles that remind them of home. A closeted queer man tries to make his case truthfully as he seeks asylum, and a translator attempts to help new arrivals present their stories to officials. Nayeri confronts notions like "the swarm," and, on the other hand, "good" immigrants. She calls attention to the harmful way in which Western governments privilege certain dangers over others. With surprising and provocative questions, The Ungrateful Refugee challenges us to rethink how we talk about the refugee crisis.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In her first nonfiction book, novelist Nayeri (A Faded Sense) uses her storytelling skills to chronicle the struggles refugees face after they escape death and violence in their native lands and seek asylum in Europe or the United States. Nayeri tells the stories of asylum seekers and supporters she interviewed during in 2016, when she began a journey to better understand her past. At age eight, Nayeri fled Iran with her mother and brother. Her mother, Muslim by birth, had converted to Christianity and was active in an underground church, becoming a target for the moral police. For the next two years, Nayeri's family lived as refugees in Dubai and Rome, until they were granted asylum in the United States. Her story is at the root of all other stories she tells about the refugees' plight, broken down into the book's five parts: Escape, Camp, Asylum, Assimilation, and Cultural Repatriation. Some, unfortunately, never experience all of it. Some languish in refugee camps or "in-between places," waiting for their asylum requests to be granted. It's fitting Nayeri does the narration of the audiobook. It's her story and it should be heard in her voice. And as with other skilled storytellers, her narration falls into the background so the stories themselves can come to life. VERDICT This is a relevant and compelling read in today's political times. It humanizes the so-called "refugee crisis" and puts into perspective why people seek asylum and what they face as a result.--Gladys Alcedo, Wallingford, CT

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