NINA KOSSMAN Seven years after their graduation, most of my father’s German classmates and their parents were forced to accept Hitler’s so called “Volksdeutsche” invitation and migrated to Germany, many of them losing everything they had, including of course, their homes in Latvia.
LISA LEE HERRICK In the US, no one cared much that thousands of Chinese—let alone South Koreans, Vietnamese, and others—were overflowing hospitals across the ocean. It was only when an outbreak ravaged a posh, Alpine city in northern Italy that the troubling thought emerged: If it could happen there, it can happen here, too, because they look like us.
The ethos of the modern world is defined by immigrants. Their stories have always been an essential component of our cultural consciousness, from Isaac Bashevis Singer to Isabel Allende, from Milan Kundera to Maxine Hong Kingston. In novels, short stories, memoirs, and works of journalism, immigrants have shown us what resilience and dedication we’re capable of, and have expanded our sense of what it means to be global citizens.