Whether you or your family came to the United States a year ago or a century ago, this is a country of immigrants, so it’s no wonder that stories about the immigrant experience resonate so strongly with readers. Even if our knowledge of our family’s immigration story is hazy and passed down through many generations, literature that illustrates the challenges, triumphs, and emotions of resettling in a new homeland compels us to view life through a lens very different from our own.
From the story of an escape from a shantytown in Zimbabwe depicted in NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names to the harsh landscape that faces a young Norwegian immigrant in Peter Geye’s The Lighthouse Road, these stories shed light on the immigrant experience. Many people come to this country without knowing much if any English, and one of their first priorities upon coming to the country is to learn the language.
In our own community, there are newcomers who need help learning English and adjusting to their new country and culture. There is a long waiting list at many of the programs in the area, and Literacy Volunteers of Methuen is no exception; we are nearing 70 prospective students waiting for a tutor.
Through Literacy Volunteers, tutors are paired with a student and they work with this student for two hours a week, to give them dedicated attention and specialized teaching suited to the student’s unique needs. If you would like to help someone, please consider attending an orientation for the Literacy Volunteers of Methuen fall training. There are three orientations to choose from:
Saturday September 23, 10-11 a.m.
Wednesday September 27, 7-8 p.m.
Thursday September 28, 10-11 a.m.
After that, the six-week training program will begin on October 11 at 6:30 p.m. If you have any questions about the program or training, please contact Kathleen Kenny at 978-686-4080, ext. 32 or LitVolMeth@gmail.com.
Other fiction titles you may enjoy include: These stories portray the experiences of immigrants from Haiti, the Dominican Republic, China, and many countries in between.
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
Song of the Water Saints by Nelly Rosario
The Lightning Keeper by Starling Lawrence
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
A Free Life by Ha Jin
The Mortifications by Derek Palacio
A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Towelhead by Alicia Erian
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez