Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How To Become an American

Recorded Books. Jan. 2022. 8:23 hrs. ISBN 9781705060797. $19.99. MEMOIR
Aim for truth, and you will find humor. Funny meets political in this packed and revelatory memoir from second-generation Pakistani writer Ali (The Domestic Crusaders), who narrates his personal history. Ali’s storytelling prowess shines as he recounts his early life in suburban Freemont, California, with a large community of family and friends. Ensnared in a surge of Islamophobia post 9/11, Ali’s college activism gains national press coverage. Ali cites a family curse as the driver behind numerous personal and familial tragedies and near-death scares. The “Amreekan dream” also comes with a lot of xenophobia and racism, which Ali dissects in full force. A lighter note is introduced with funny clapbacks to Internet trolls and a checklist for being a “moderate” Muslim. Listeners will be captivated by the writer’s vulnerability. He is especially effective when describing his parents’ imprisonment, his struggles with mental health, and his daughter’s grave illness. Ali brings this audio to the next level with a well-practiced pace and warm, confident delivery.
VERDICT Ending on a note of hopefulness, Ali’s memoir urges listeners to do better for the sake of all Americans. Highly recommended for all collections.
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