40+ Great Stories About Immigrants Recommended by You

This Riot Recommendation for great stories about immigrants is sponsored by How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs.

Cover of HOW TO LOVE A JAMAICAN by Alexia ArthursTenderness and cruelty, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and regret—award-winning author Alexia Arthurs navigates these tensions to extraordinary effect in her debut collection. Bestselling author Zadie Smith calls it “thrilling” and says “Alexia Arthurs is all too easy to love.” These intimate tales take on today’s important topics—race, class, immigration, teenage pregnancy, and gay culture. Sweeping from close-knit island communities in Jamaican to the streets of New York City and Midwestern university towns, these eleven stories—most never-before-published—form a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life. How to Love a Jamaican, available now.


Great stories about immigrants can be found in fiction, history, children’s books, YA, graphic novels, memoir, romance…And they can give you some insight into an experience outside your own, or remind you of your immigrant parents, or just be a rewarding way to spend an afternoon reading. Or all of the above! We’re always on the lookout for our next good read. So we asked you to share your picks for great stories about immigrants, and below you’ll find just some of your recommendations.

Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

On Black Sister’s Street by China Unigwe

In The Country by Mia Alvar

Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie Huang

Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel by Anya Ulinich

My New American Life by Francine Prose

The Consequences of Love by Sulaiman Addonia

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The Best We Could Do by The Bui

The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez

Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say

Map of Home by Randa Jarrar

My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald

Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi

Almost a Woman by Esmeralda Santiago

How The García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

Here I Am by Patti Kim and illustrated by Sonia Sánchez

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

I’m New Here by Anne Sibley O’Brien

Don’t Let Him Know by Sandip Roy

The Mango Bride by Marvin Soliven

Inside Out And Back Again by Thanhha Lai

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu

The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco

In The Country We Love by Diane Guerrero

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Naomi Munaweera

Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie

The Bread Givers by Anzia Yezierska

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Bilingual Blues by Gustavo Pérez Firmat

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Sign up to get the librarian's one-stop shop for news, book lists, and more with the Check Your Shelf newsletter.
Do you like podcasts like This American Life, RadioLab, or Planet Money? Annotated is kinda like those, but for books. Go here to find out more, or click the image below:
VIEW COMMENTS