The Bad Immigrant: Book summary and reviews of The Bad Immigrant by Sefi Atta

The Bad Immigrant

by Sefi Atta

The Bad Immigrant by Sefi Atta X
The Bad Immigrant by Sefi Atta
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  • Published Nov 2021
    248 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

An account of an immigrant family's struggle and the lessons learned about diversity.

Writing at the height of her powers, The Bad Immigrant cements Sefi Atta's place as one of the best storytellers of our time. Through the voice of her first male protagonist, Lukmon, Atta peels away nuanced layers to expose the realities of migration from Nigeria to the USA, such as the strains of adjustment and the stifling pressure to conform without loss of identity.

Covering a wide range of issues, including interracial and intra-racial tensions, and familial strains exacerbated in a new geographic and cultural environment, this novel is a thoroughgoing exposition of the many challenges that confront a modern migrant, told from the perspective of a protagonist whose sophistication and educational prowess is no guarantee of success in a country that is prone to valuing conformity over merit. Atta grounds Lukmon's narrative in a wide array of cultural and literary allusions that testify to the author's wit and sophisticated management of complicated matters in a manner at once erudite and accessible.

In The Bad Immigrant, Atta deftly drives the narrative forward with repartee that forges deep intimacy with the characters and engenders sympathy for all of them, even those we find infuriating.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A professor and failed writer moves his family from Nigeria to the U.S., hoping to establish better prospects for his children, in Atta's sparkling latest...Lukmon's unfiltered voice is enthralling...This is a trenchant and notable take on the immigrant experience." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[T]he latest from the award-winning Atta [is] a fun, thought-provoking, and refreshing culture-clash tale featuring a loving family adapting to a strange, new land." - Booklist

"A clever, compassionate and swift-paced exploration of identity, race, and belonging. In prose that is both witty and sharp, Atta draws the reader into an unforgettable tale of an immigrant family finding ways to live their own versions of the American Dream. A brilliant, brilliant book." - Chika Unigwe, author of Better Never than Late

"Atta humorously and honestly executes the story of Karim family as they try to make sense of the elusive American dream after winning the visa lottery. A hilarious, painfully candid, and thoroughly captivating read." - Bunmi Oyinsan, author of Three Women

"An outstanding book from an exceptional author in which words seamlessly build on one another to erect a towering tale of compromise, tenacity, and hope, interlaced with wittiness and keen observations about culture and human character." - Benjamin Kwakye, author of The Clothes of Nakedness

This information about The Bad Immigrant was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Sefi Atta Author Biography

Sefi Atta was born in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1964 and currently divides her time between the United States, England and Nigeria. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in England, a Certified Public Accountant in the United States, and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Atta was a juror for the 2010 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and has received several literary awards for her works, including the 2006 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and the 2009 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. In 2015, a critical study of her novels and short stories, Writing Contemporary Nigeria: How Sefi Atta Illuminates African Culture and Tradition, was published by Cambria Press. Also a playwright, her radio plays have been broadcast by the BBC and her stage plays have ...

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