Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The novel Americanah

I recently read an inspiring book entitled Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  The novel is about a Nigerian woman who migrates (legally) to the United States for college in the midst of political turmoil at home. Years later, her boyfriend migrates to the United Kingdom illegally. The story documents each of their experiences, their reasons behind their migrations, their search for education and work abroad, and their desires to return home some day. The novel also addressed the complicated aspects of being African in the U.S. and the U.K. (A recent op-ed in the NY Times also sheds light on this.)

While most economics professors do not have students read novels as a part of their classwork, I highly recommend reading a novel that documents other aspects of the immigrant experience. Books such as Americanah will help you remember that immigration has significant personal, social and psychic costs that are often difficult to quantify (as discussed in Chapter 2 of the textbook).

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