Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Six of the best books on the refugee experience

Dina Nayeri is the author of The Ungrateful Refugee, a finalist for the 2019 Kirkus Prize. Her essay of the same name was one of the most widely shared 2017 Long Reads in The Guardian. A 2019 Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination Fellow, winner of the 2018 UNESCO City of Literature Paul Engle Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts literature grant (2015), O. Henry Prize (2015), Best American Short Stories (2018), and fellowships from the McDowell Colony, Bogliasco Foundation, and Yaddo, her stories and essays have been published by The New York Times, New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, New Yorker, Granta New Voices, Wall Street Journal, and many others. Her debut novel, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea (2013) was translated to 14 languages. Her second novel, Refuge (2017) was a New York Times editor’s choice. She holds a BA from Princeton, an MBA from Harvard, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow and Teaching Writing Fellow. She lives in Paris.

At the Guardian, Nayeri tagged six of the best books on the refugee experience, including:
For a rigorous journalistic understanding of today’s primary migrant route into Europe (through the western Balkans), I recommend BBC correspondent Nick Thorpe’s The Road Before Me Weeps. It is an intimate, heartbreaking account of daily life in transit, in this particular social and political context, and of the many ways these families are rejected and exploited along the way. I was blown away by how much this man saw – things that have taken me 30 years of reflection to be willing to talk about.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue