Reading List: Migration/Immigration/Exile

As part of our collection of reading lists on key focus areas, explore these selected works that speak to migration/immigration/exile. 

Image of a man surrounded by newspapers, with the American flag draped over his shoulder

Lauri Lyons, Flag: An American Story: Newspaper Man, San Francisco, California



  • Immigrants in Years 2070, 2081, and 2097 Must Furnish the Following Documents” is Congolese novelist and poet Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s darkly comic imagining of a future, even-more-broken immigration system (translated and introduced by J. Bret Maney).
  • Immigrant Ditty” by Vladimir Gandelsman conveys what translators Olga Livshin and Andrew Janco call “the slow dying of the self” that many middle-aged immigrants experience in the United States. 
  • Natalie Handal’s “Resurrection” (Issue 16) poses and answers questions on borders and migration.
  • This excerpt from Alfredo Aguilar’s “CORRIDO” reflects on a visit to Friendship Park on the San Diego–Tijuana border, where residents from both countries can meet.



  • Kate Bersen’s short story, “Hydroambulante” (Issue 15) follows a father’s “first morning in Nueva York, in los EEUU” as he attempts to catch up to his wife and daughter, who have been in the States already for some time.
  • The young narrator in River Adams’ “Antipode” (Issue 17) is haunted by her experiences of the war in Kosovo as she tries to adapt to a new life in the US. 
  • In Bina Shah’s” Weeds and Flowers” (Issue 19), a friendship between two young girls and a shocking death bring forth the experience of Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
  • Anna Badkhen’s “An Appointment in Samarra” and Katherine Vaz’s “Revenge in the Name of All Owls” (both from Issue 18) are stories of immigrants building new lives in the US and of the sorrow and loss they cannot escape.
  • Clara Obligado’s “Exile” (Issue 20), translated by Rachel Ballenger, tells the story of a family torn apart by Argentina’s political tensions and the violence that occurs at the borders.



  • Sonya Chung’s “Annals of Mobility: On the Forced Mobility of Exile” features thoughts on displacement from an international cohort of writers, artists, and filmmakers.
  • In “Coastlines,” Teow Lim Goh reflects on the stories and poetry of the Chinese immigrants who passed through Angel Island as they sought a new home in the US. 
  • Pibulsak Lakonpol’s “Ends of the Earth & Edges of Dream” (Issue 17), translated by Noh Anothai, is a meditation on homeland, borders, and the human family.
  • In “The Spirit of the Place,” Antonio Romani (Issue 17) moves between Italy and the US, delving underground to explore the intersection of place and identity.
  • In “Jesse Owens, Mr. Harris, and Me,” Nina McConigley (Issue 09) discusses growing up in Wyoming, going to her mother’s homeland, and how “to fit securely between two places, much like the hyphen poised between Indian and American.”
  • The Five-Room Box” by Ravi Shankar (Issue 21) recounts the author’s experience growing up the child of Indian immigrants in America and a year spent attending school in India; in this essay, Shankar unpacks his mother’s past and his own formative childhood experiences to understand his present.
  • Nothing More Human” by Suraj Alva (Issue 19) is a stirring essay about the life and death of the author’s brother, Cyrus. It is a story about immigration (from Kuwait, to India, to Saudi Arabia, and then to the US) and how trauma can run through a family.
  • ​​In ”Thirty-One Things About the Lime of Control,” Kritika Pandey teaches her young cousin about the Line of Control in the aftermath of the Indian government’s revoking of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Reading List: Migration/Immigration/Exile