Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ifemelu and Obinze are the perfect couple, until she decides to leave their home country of Nigeria to attend college in the United States. The adjustment to her new surroundings is so difficult that Ifemelu cuts off contact with Obinze. Eventually, she’s able to turn her observations of her new home into a provocative and successful blog. Years later, when Ifemelu decides to move back to Nigeria, she has no choice but to confront her past and her lingering feelings for Obinze.
The Sun Is Also a Star
Daniel and Natasha could not seem more different: she’s interested in science and facts while he’s a dreamer and a poet. What do they have in common? Both are children of immigrants. Korean-American Daniel’s family wants him to go to an Ivy League college and pursue a high-paying career, while Natasha is fighting to keep her family from being deported to Jamaica. The teenagers meet by chance and spend only one day together, but it’s a day that changes them both forever.
The Book of Unknown Americans
The Riveras are happy with their life in Mexico, but when their 15-year-old daughter, Maribel, is injured, their only hope to get her medical attention is to risk everything to go to the United States. Not long after arriving, Maribel meets and falls in love with her neighbor, Mayor Toro, creating major repercussions for everyone involved.
Since its inception, the United States has been a melting pot, home to people of different cultures and backgrounds. Leaving one’s home is an enormously difficult decision, and those who come to America do so seeking a better life for their families and opportunities that cannot be found in their home countries. As immigration becomes an increasingly contentious issue, the stories of those who immigrate to this country become more important than ever—and yet too often go unnoticed. These fictional books feature diverse and complex characters, all coming to America to improve their life in some way.
Featured Image: Dorothea Lange/Library of Congress