If you love discovering a new book and sharing it with a friend, here’s a chance to do both by reading and discussing literature written by authors whose stories reflect the extraordinary ethnic diversity of the United States. Sometimes lost among the debates on immigration, which can focus on statistics and laws, is the personal story of each immigrant making his or her way in a new and strange environment.
In many ways, fiction is ideally suited to capture the immigrant experience at its human core. Join Lisbeth Strimple Fuisz, a lecturer in the English department at Georgetown University, in spirited lectures and informal discussions about four compelling books. Participants should read the first prior to class. Sherry and cookies are available for refreshment.
Jan. 8 The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (1991)
Written as a series of vignettes, this story follows a young Latina girl in Chicago and her experiences growing up in a city of great racial and ethnic divides.
Feb. 5 Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat (1994)
A young girl is sent from Haiti to New York City to live with a mother she barely knows.
Mar. 5 Monkey Bridge by Lan Cao (1997)
This novel tells the story of a teenager who flees Vietnam on the day Saigon falls, recounting her struggles to retain her Vietnamese identity in the United States.
Apr. 9 The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengetsu (2007)
Fleeing Ethiopia’s revolution, a young man lands in Washington, D.C., and reflects on his own sense of identity while navigating neighborhood gentrification.