The Good Immigrant

26 Writers Reflect on America


Edited by Nikesh Shukla

Edited by Chimene Suleyman

Formats and Prices




$22.99 CAD


  1. Trade Paperback $17.99 $22.99 CAD
  2. ebook $12.99 $15.99 CAD
  3. Audiobook Download (Unabridged)

By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, troubling and uplifting, these “electric” essays come together to create a provocative, conversation-sparking, multivocal portrait of modern America (The Washington Post).

From Trump’s proposed border wall and travel ban to the marching of white supremacists in Charlottesville, America is consumed by tensions over immigration and the question of which bodies are welcome. In this much-anticipated follow-up to the bestselling UK edition, hailed by Zadie Smith as “lively and vital,” editors Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman hand the microphone to an incredible range of writers whose humanity and right to be here is under attack.

  • Chigozie Obioma unpacks an Igbo proverb that helped him navigate his journey to America from Nigeria.
  • Jenny Zhang analyzes cultural appropriation in 90s fashion, recalling her own pain and confusion as a teenager trying to fit in.
  • Fatimah Asghar describes the flood of memory and emotion triggered by an encounter with an Uber driver from Kashmir.
  • Alexander Chee writes of a visit to Korea that changed his relationship to his heritage.

These writers, and the many others in this urgent collection, share powerful personal stories of living between cultures and languages while struggling to figure out who they are and where they belong.

  • "This collection is a resounding success on multiple fronts. Its righteous rage is perfectly matched by its literary rewards...a surround-sound chorus that bristles with an unpredictable, electric energy...Each essay is a tantalizing introduction -- and invitation -- to the larger body of work these artists have already created and will continue to make long after this moment passes. What unites this defiant chorus of immigrant voices is best expressed in this variation on an enduring line by Langston Hughes: 'We, too sing America.'"
    The Washington Post
  • "The strength of this collection is in its diversity-of gender, sexuality, privilege, experience, and writing style. A gift for anyone who understands or wants to learn about the breadth of experience among immigrants to the U.S., this collection showcases the joy, empathy, and fierceness needed to adopt the country as one's own."
    PublishersWeekly (Starred Review)
  • "This book does what books can do better than other media: it devotes space to the shadowy ranges, to the subjects that are not easily graspable - the ineffable, varied, certainly never simple experiences of being an immigrant."
    Rachel Khong, The Guardian
  • "There are no weak links in this well-curated book."
    Kirkus Reviews
  • "Extraordinary in its attempt to make sense of the current moment...devastating in its ability to coalesce the lived realities of nonwhite Americans and the impact of these acts...Since narratives operate as engines of empathy, granting access to worlds and experiences often overlooked, The Good Immigrant helps counter some of today's more toxic narratives. Hopefully we'll read more of these kind of stories in the future."
    Los Angeles Review of Books
  • "This volume brings together an amazing group of writers...who describe their personal experiences and struggles with finding their place in the U.S. The pieces connect first-person stories with broader cultural and political issues to paint an important picture of the U.S. today."
  • "Immigration has become a hot-button issue in America for all the wrong reasons (see: racists), and The Good Immigrant is the perfect antidote to all the hate. Through essays from first- and second-generation immigrants like Jenny Zhang, Chigozie Obioma, Fatimah Asghar, and more, you'll get a whole new perspective on everything from '90s fashion to Uber drivers."
  • Praise for The Good Immigrant (UK):
    "The Good Immigrant is a lively and vital intervention into the British cultural conversation around race. Instead of statistics and dogma we find real human experience and impassioned argument - and it's funny and moving, too."
    Zadie Smith
  • "An important, timely read."
    J. K. Rowling
  • "An act of peaceful defiance; as a document of the now, and as an opportunity to educate ourselves about the lives and experiences of others."
  • "The Good Immigrant is that rarest of beasts, a truly necessary book."
    Jonathan Coe, Observer
  • "As engaging as it is necessary, especially in today's political climate."
  • "A timely and important read, filled with gorgeous writing."
    Woman's Day

On Sale
Feb 4, 2020
Page Count
336 pages
Back Bay Books