International Migrants Day: Migrant Stories

Most of us have a history of migration, whether recently or in our ancestry. Migration can be a challenging experience, but it is experiencing a new culture and society that can be the making of us. Here, we look at brilliant stories about migration, which delve into the complexities of leaving home and surviving in a new and unknown landscape. We also look at some of the most acclaimed novelists writing in the English language who are migrants themselves, and who have used their experiences to create powerful works of literature.

Stories About Migration

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

In eight beautifully wrought short stories, Unaccustomed Earth takes us from continent to continent, following fascinating characters facing new cities, new cultures and new challenges. Lahiri’s work revels in the variety of life and the complexity of the human experience.

After Before by Jemma Wayne

After Before follows the intertwining stories of three vastly different women living in Britain. There is Emily, who has migrated from Rwanda to flee the genocide, Vera, who has converted to Christianity, and Lynn, who faces a battle with disease. A deeply humane novel, After Before asks how you can live life to the full when faced with all varieties of hardship.

Losing Touch by Sandra Hunter

Arjun and his family have moved to London in search of a better life following Indian Independence. However, seeing his family grow up and change in a new environment is not easy for Arjun. And when he is diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, his life is thrown further off-kilt. Can Arjun learn to adjust and love his family for all their flaws?

Migrant Writers

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie was born in Nigeria and later moved to the USA for her university studies. She now divides her time between the two and has become an advocate for a number of issues from feminism to diversity. Adichie is highly critically acclaimed, with her first novel being shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction to her third novel, Americanah being named one of the New York Times’ 10 best books of 2013.
We recommend: Half of a Yellow Sun

Taiye Selasi

With roots in Ghana and Nigeria, Taiye Selasi’s work has taken her around the world and she describes herself as being from places as far flung as Accra, New York and Rome. Selasi’s work often focuses on the diaspora: communities who have migrated and are making a new life. Her 2013 novel, Ghana Must Go follows a family living around the world which is brought back together after the death of a relative.
We recommend: Ghana Must Go

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