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Island of a Thousand Mirrors
A stunning literary debut set during the Sri Lankan Civil War
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Theme of Immigration in literature

Created: 09/15/14

Replies: 7

Posted Sep. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LeahLovesBooks

Join Date: 04/08/14

Posts: 47

Theme of Immigration in literature

A major theme in literature, immigration lends itself to lots of tensions. What can be extrapolated from Shiva's and Yasohara's immigrant experiences that is universal?


Posted Sep. 17, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 165

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RE: Theme of Immigration in literature

There are so many books about the immigrant's experience that a book needs to be extremely well written and have some unique quality to it. Otherwise it's the same story/different country. I did not find this book to have anything new to say about being an immigrant. They at least arrived in Los Angeles speaking English. I didn't think they made the most of the opportunities they received by immigrating.


Posted Sep. 25, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jwbriggs13

Join Date: 05/09/12

Posts: 33

RE: Theme of Immigration in literature

I know a number of immigrants and the stories they share about their arrivals in the US have strong similarities to Shiva's and Yasohara's. The strong sense my friends convey of "my country" let's me know, while they may appreciate and hold dear their US citizenships, their hearts are forever in their country of origin. When the separation from the country of their birth is due to war or political unrest, the heartbreak is even stronger. I think the author did a good job of expressing those same feelings in her characters.


Posted Sep. 25, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susanp

Join Date: 03/19/14

Posts: 4

RE: Theme of Immigration in literature

I have many friends who are immigrants to the U.S. I agree with the comment about the immigrant's heart being tied to the home country. The initial trauma of moving remains with the first generation;however, their children are more easily integrated into the culture. This of course creates another level of tension when parents struggle to preserve their heritage and language. I cannot imagine having to leave everything behind and move to another country.


Posted Sep. 30, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sandrah

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 57

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Re: Themes of Immigration in literature

I have read many books based on this theme but most have been about people who came here from some area of Europe, the Scandinavian countries or Africa. But a more recent novel that truly affected the way I see what is like to come to live in a country in which one is a visible immigrant is Julie Otsuka's " The Buddah in the Attic." This short book told through the voices of many unnamed women made me feel what it must be like to fit in to a mostly hostile.


"The reader lives a 1000 lives before he dies. The [person] who never reads lives only one."
George R.R. Martin.
Posted Sep. 30, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

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RE: Theme of Immigration in literature

I imagine there is no place like home. Who wouldn't miss certain aspects of their 'mother' country. Assimilating has its setbacks and rewards. I'm sure experiencing welcoming arms and snubs are all part of the process. Immigrants I am familiar with rise above and sink their teeth into forging their way, driven to make the best of the opportunity. Disconnection from home, never forgetting and striving to change the course of what was to what could be. Bittersweet but the endless opportunities are within their grasp.


Posted Oct. 06, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Beth350

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 67

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RE: Theme of Immigration in literature

I have worked with refugees and other immigrants who were learning English and the culture. It is very difficult in many cases. Usually they start with a glorified notion of what life in the US is going to be like, but after a few months, reality sets in. Finding a job, going to school, paying rent, and trying to find and cook familiar foods are only part of assimilation process. Many people get really homesick for the life they had before it became necessary to leave the home country.

I have read many books on the immigrant experience and while all have a similarity, every story is different because of the background that the character (and/or author) has. I find it to be a fascinating topic and I enjoyed this book immensely.


Beth350
Posted Oct. 28, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolynv

Join Date: 04/17/11

Posts: 11

RE: Theme of Immigration in literature

My husband is an immigrant. Although he did speak excellent English, he didn't speak American English so being understood was still a problem. The home country will always have a place in the heart and homesickness doesn't ever leave. Food and trying to recreate the food of your country is a neverending search.


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