Memoirs and Biographies

A personal look at the struggles facing newcomers to a new land


Click on each title to find the availability


Dumas, Firoozeh

Funny in Farsi: a memoir of growing up Iranian in America

In a series of deftly drawn scenes, we watch the family grapple with American English, American traditions and American culture

Biography Dumas


Hirsi Ali, Ayaan


Hirsi Ali tells her astonishing life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, to her intellectual awakening and activism in the Netherlands, and her current life under armed guard in the West.

Biography Hirsi Ali


Lonchar, Suzanna

A Brooklyn rose

The Finazzo family traveled from Sicily to America in search of the fabled “American Dream,” only to find poverty, tragedies, prison, death, and even murder. It was the era of prohibition, speakeasies, and later The Great Depression.

Biography Finazzo


Mathabane, Mark

Kaffir boy in America

The absorbing sequel to the author's Kaffir Boy , one of the best books ever written about apartheid, this tells of Mathabane's life in the U.S. since he arrived here at age 18 in 1978 on a tennis scholarship, describing his painful experiences at three colleges in one year and in American society generally.

Biography Mathabane


Santiago, Esmeralda

When I was Puerto Rican
Magic, sexual tension, high comedy, and intense drama move through an enchanted yet harsh autobiography, in the story of a young girl who leaves rural Puerto Rico for New York's tenements and a chance for success.

Biography Santiago