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Immigrant Writing Series
In 2017 Greenlight launches a new Immigrant Writing Series, featuring literary events with a focus on the voices and experiences of immigrants. Events take place in our bookstore locations, and encompass a range of literary genres and event formats. Past authors include Mohsin Hamid, Deepak Unnikrishnan, and Thi Bui, among others. Events are free and open to the public.
“We live in a country and in a borough that was built by and thrives because of its immigrants,” says Greenlight’s co-owner Rebecca Fitting. “We wanted to create this reading series because it's vital that as a community and culture, our world view stays broad, open, supportive and wide. Reading fiction and stories is an important way of exposing ourselves to the lives and emotions of other people. Nonfiction provides history and facts, but fiction weaves empathy into the mix and allows us to view things from perspectives, cultures and worlds other than our own.”
Upcoming Events in the Series:
Inspired by recent, real-life stories of undocumented immigrant women whose U.S.-born children were taken away from them and adopted by American families, while the women themselves were jailed or deported, The Leavers is Lisa Ko’s penetrating, finely wrought debut and the latest winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction. In this unforgettable story of immigration, adoption, and lives lived across borders, Ko tells the story of Deming Guo, who, after his undocumented Chinese mother disappears, is adopted by two white professors who change his name to Daniel Wilkinson and attempt to give him an all-American life. Ko has been awarded fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts, MacDowell Colony, among other honors, and The Leavers has already received high praise from numerous publications and authors such as Ann Patchett and Barbara Kingsolver. Ko is joined in conversation with Hillary Jordan, author of the novels Mudbound (which also won the PEN/Bellwether Prize) and When She Woke.
In 2015, Valeria Luiselli – award-winning, critically acclaimed Mexican author of The Story of My Teeth, Faces in the Crowd, and the book of essays Sidewalks – volunteered as a translator for the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services in New York, where she administered a 40-question survey to unaccompanied and undocumented minors fleeing Central America, during an unprecedented surge in the number of minors crossing the border. Out of this survey comes Tell Me How it Ends, a humanizing portrait of young migrants that highlights the contradiction between the idea of America as a fiction for immigrants and the reality of racism and fear – both here and back home. Urgent, searing, and vital, Tell Me How it Ends has been called the “first must-read book of the Trump-era,” (The Texas Observer).