SOCIAL SCIENCES

A Map Is Only One Story: Twenty Writers on Immigration, Family, and the Meaning of Home

Catapult. Feb. 2020. 240p. ed. by ed. by Nicole Chung & Mensah Demary. ISBN 9781948226783. pap. $16.95. SOC SCI
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Editors Chung and Demary compile essays on the immigrant experience. Standout pieces include Cinelle Barnes’s “Carefree White Girls, Careful Brown Girls,” Krystal A. Sital’s “Undocumented Lovers in America,” and Shing Yin Khor’s illustrated essay “Say it with Noodles.” The literary world has seen an explosion of crossing narratives lately; it is easy to forget about the increasingly nuanced, complicated, and human ways that immigrant lives unfold after arrival. This collection contributes to the burgeoning canon of works set beyond the crossing. The essays move like ink in water, dispersing in infinite directions to illuminate psychologies, family dynamics, steamy affairs, vibrant foods, politicized accents, and particular kinds of losses. Most powerful of all is its subtle work of demonstrating that violent immigration policies implicate everyone in a country, immigrant and citizen alike. Victoria Blanco conjures this in “Why We Cross the Border in El Paso,” writing of the deaths that take place in the Rio Grande.
VERDICT A standout collection that adds new dimension and depth to the lived experiences of immigrants long after they settle in a new community.

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