Parenting with an Accent: How Immigrants Honor Their Heritage, Navigate Setbacks, and Chart New Paths for Their Children (Paperback)
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A blend of on-the-ground reporting and personal anecdotes that weaves a tapestry of the immigrant experience, multicultural parenting, and identity in the US
Through her own stories and interviews with other immigrant families, award-winning journalist Masha Rumer paints a realistic and compassionate picture of what it’s like for immigrant parents raising a child in America while honoring their cultural identities. Parenting with an Accent speaks to immigrant and non-immigrant readers alike, incorporating a diverse collection of voices and experiences to provide an intimate look at the lives of many different immigrant families across the country.
With a compelling blend of empirical data, humor, and on-the-ground reportage, Rumer presents interviews with experts on various aspects of parenting as an immigrant, including the challenges of acculturation, bilingualism strategies, and childcare. She visits a children’s Amharic class at an Ethiopian church in New York, a California vegetable farm, a Persian immersion school, and more. Through these stories, she opens a window to a world of parenting unique to multicultural families. Immigrant readers will appreciate Rumer’s gentle message about the kind of ethnic and cultural ambivalence that is born of having roots planted in many different soils, while in these pages non-immigrants get a fly-on-the-wall view of the unique experiences of newcomers.
Deeply researched yet personal, Parenting with an Accent centers immigrants and their experiences in a new country—emphasizing how immigrants and their children remain an integral part of America’s story.
About the Author
Masha Rumer is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Quartz, the Moscow Times, Parents.com, SFWeekly, Volume 1 Brooklyn, and elsewhere. An immigrant from the former Soviet Union, she now lives with her family in California, where she is navigating the nuances of multicultural and interfaith parenting. You can find her online at masharumer.com and on Twitter @MashaDC.
"Rumer’s book weaves together dozens of parents’ stories, their successes and their failures [...] In Parenting with an Accent, she has created such a circle for all of us."
—The Los Angeles Review of Books
"A refreshing addition to a crowded field, unique in its focuses and perspective: highlighting and amplifying the voices and stories of immigrant parents navigating life in the United States. The book is as much ethnographic study as it is an affirmative and therapeutic examination of identity, and what it means to pass that identity forward."
"Rumer blends her own stories with interviews of other immigrant families, exploring various issues in an insightful and even humorous way."
—Jaime Herndon, Book Riot
“An affirming guide to parenting as an immigrant.”
“Tenacious journalism and a terrific read.”
—The Jewish News of Northern California
"Rumer ... spotlights various experiences of immigrant families across the country and provides essential insight into the nuances of multicultural parenting."
—Sofia Bolido, The Millions
"Both a parenting resource and a heartfelt memoir of the immigrant experience"
—Elisa Magidoff, Associate Director of the Center for Children and Youth, a Division of Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
“A timely update on the travails and glories of being an immigrant to our country told with thoughtfulness and compassion.”
—Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story
“Growing up as an immigrant child and then becoming an immigrant parent can feel lonely and unsettling, like living between worlds. Rumer’s Parenting with an Accent made me feel less isolated and more understood. Celebrating the wisdom and traditions that so many diverse heritages bring to parenting, as Rumer deftly demonstrates, makes us all richer and opens windows to see new possibilities for generations growing up in a fast-changing, complex world. This book is a great read for any parent wishing to understand their role through a wider lens.”
—Homa Sabet Tavangar, author of Growing Up Global
“Filled with real-world experiences and insights, and written with great warmth and wit, Parenting with an Accent is a much-needed guide that will no doubt have a hugely positive impact on the lives of so many families in today’s multicultural America.”
—Adam Beck, author of Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability
“Though our population has become increasingly diverse, myths and misperceptions about multicultural child-rearing continue to abound. . . . Through family profiles, interviews with experts, and extensive research, Rumer—an immigrant parent herself—offers unprecedented and much-needed practical guidance on topics such as assimilation, bilingualism, and childcare. Parenting with an Accent is sure to appeal to multicultural families, as well as anyone who wants to understand how the fabric of our society is changing for the better.”
—Christine Gross-Loh, author of Parenting Without Borders
“Masha Rumer’s writing on immigrant parenting is well-researched, thoughtful, and incredibly helpful. As a bilingual parent, I would often find myself at a loss at how to approach my kids’ upbringing and education. What is more important: to preserve the riches of my old-country culture, or to make the assimilation easier? What would be the right balance between the two? And more importantly, how do I ensure that I don’t screw my kids up? Masha Rumer explores all of these problems in a manner that is both serious and deeply engaging.”
—Lara Vapnyar, author of Divide Me by Zero
“Wonderful and about so much more than parenting!”
—Dr. Ellen Bialystok, Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology and Walter Gordon Research Chair of Lifespan Cognitive Development at York University
"In Rumer’s book, I found much of my own immigrant experience, as well as timely food for thought."
—San Francisco Chronicle