immigrants -- fiction

The Namesake

By Jhumpa Lahiri

Go to catalog

"...takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged marriage, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world."

Reserve this title

Monkey Bridge

By Lan Cao

Go to catalog

Mai Nguyen, a young Vietnamese woman, comes of age in America after leaving Saigon in 1975, while her mother has difficulty adjusting to life in their new country, in a moving novel filled with Vietnamese lore.

Reserve this title

In Cuba, I Was a German Shepherd

By Ana Menendez

Go to catalog
Pushcart Prize-winning author Ana Menendez offers intertwined short stories of Cuban immigrants adjusting to a new life and culture in Miami.
Reserve this title

Homeland

By John Jakes

Go to catalog

A German teenager arrives in Chicago in 1892 expecting the immigrant ideal of streets paved with gold. It isn't, of course, but what he does find, freedom, is worth more. Describes in lively detail America at the turn of the twentieth century - including the labor movement, women's rights movement, and the start of the motion picture industry.

Reserve this title

Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America

By Firoozeh Dumas

Go to catalog

"In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father’s glowing memories of his graduate school years here. More family soon followed, and the clan has been here ever since. Funny in Farsi chronicles the American journey of Dumas’s wonderfully engaging family: her engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer who first sought riches on Bowling for Dollars and in Las Vegas, and later lost his job during the Iranian revolution; her elegant mother, who never fully mastered English (nor cared to); her uncle, who combated the effects of American fast food with an army of miraculous American weight-loss gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl changed her name to Julie, and who encountered a second wave of culture shock when she met and married a Frenchman, becoming part of a one-couple melting pot. In a series of deftly drawn scenes, we watch the family grapple with American English (hot dogs and hush puppies?—a complete mystery), American traditions (Thanksgiving turkey?—an even greater mystery, since it tastes like nothing), and American culture (Firoozeh’s parents laugh uproariously at Bob Hope on television, although they don’t get the jokes even when she translates them into Farsi). Above all, this is an unforgettable story of identity, discovery, and the power of family love. It is a book that will leave us all laughing—without an accent."

Reserve this title

Ellis Island

By Fred Mustard Stewart

Go to catalog
They were five young penniless people who came to America at the turn of the century--a land of shining hope and breathtaking challenge. They came to fulfill a glowing promise and take the fearful gamble of a new life in a land where anything was possible.
Reserve this title

Boat People

By Mary Gardner

Go to catalog
Tough, optimistic, yet still scarred by memories of escape and loss--by their traumatic passage by boat out of Vietnam to freedom--the characters in this deeply-felt novel seek an ever elusive balance between their old world and their new home on the Texas Coast.
Reserve this title

Accordion Crimes

By Annie Proulx

Go to catalog

Follow the struggles of Italian, Irish, African, Basque, Norwegian, Mexican, and German immigrants from 1890 to the present, all owners at some time of an accordion brought to America by its Sicilian maker.

Reserve this title

An Untamed Land

By Lauraine Snelling

Go to catalog
Promises of untold wealth and land drew the Bjorklund family across the Atlantic, but the prairie refused to yield its treasure without a struggle.
Red River of the North, Book 1.
Reserve this title

The Master Butcher's Singing Club

By Louise Erdrich

Go to catalog

Having survived the killing fields of World War I, Fidelis Waldvogel returns home to his quiet German village and marries the pregnant widow of his best friend who was killed in action. With a suitcase full of sausages and a master butcher's precious set of knives, Fidelis sets out for America, getting as far as North Dakota, where he builds a business, a home for his family -- which includes Eva and four sons -- and a singing club consisting of the best voices in town. When the Old World meets the New -- in the person of Delphine Watzka -- the great adventure of Fidelis's life begins. Delphine meets Eva and is enchanted; she meets Fidelis, and the ground trembles. These momentous encounters will determine the course of Delphine's life.

Also available on audio and in large print.

Reserve this title