Saturday, November 26, 2011

Six top books about immigrants

Brooke Hauser has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Allure, and Premiere, among other publications.

For several years, she covered the film industry as Writer-at-Large at Premiere, where she was also an editor. In 2005, her interest in profiling characters not usually featured in the mainstream media led her to the City section of the New York Times. For her first story, which was later optioned for a movie, she spent weeks chronicling the misadventures of a clique of Staten Island girls looking for love.

Since then, she has tried to dig deep and tread lightly in many different worlds, from New York’s juvenile justice system to Harlem’s spirited Baptist community.

The recently released The New Kids: Big Dreams Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens is Hauser's first book.

One of her six favorite books about immigrants, as told to The Week magazine:
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Oscar Wao, a Dominican-American "ghetto nerd," hails from New Jersey, but he is haunted by fukú, a curse that has followed his family from Santo Domingo. Díaz's shatteringly original novel proves that sometimes, home is the strangest of strange lands.
Read about the other books on Hauser's list.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao also appears among Sara Gruen's six favorite books, Paste magazine's list of the ten best debut novels of the decade (2000-2009), and The Millions' best books of fiction of the millenium. The novel is one of Matthew Kaminski's five favorite novels about immigrants in America and is a book that made a difference to Zoë Saldana.

--Marshal Zeringue