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The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla

The Good Immigrant (2016)

by Nikesh Shukla (Editor)

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This is a great collection of essays - 21 in all - about what it means to be BAME in Britain today. There are different stories, styles and approaches, but all are well written and interesting. They tackle representation, typecasting, cultural appropriation and tales of day to day life. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Aug 5, 2017 |
The Good Immigrant is an excellent and very timely collection of essays about what it's like to be an immigrant or the child of immigrants in Britain today.

I love that there's a wide variety of viewpoints represented in this book, from second-generation Indian immigrants like me to groups I didn't know much about, like the Chinese community. The personal tone of many of the essays is really engaging and I particularly enjoyed the more humorous accounts of life as an immigrant (Nish Kumar's essay was especially amusing!).

Anyone with an interest in the immigrant experience will find this book interesting, but it will particularly resonate with anyone who is also an immigrant, or related to one. I found myself nodding at things that matched my own thoughts and experiences so many times that I thought my head was going to fall off!

Most importantly, many other things are explored that I didn't even realise I'd experienced - I absolutely loved Darren Chetty's essay for addressing the representation (or lack) of non-white characters in children's books, and how this affects how non-white children then go about writing their own stories. As someone who used to churn out a range of rather ridiculous stories and 'books' as a child, it was quite the revelation to realise that I too never once thought about making an British Asian girl one of my protagonists.

All in all, this is a fantastic and much-needed collection as we come to the end of a strange and politically scary year. ( )
  mooingzelda | Dec 9, 2016 |
The Good Immigrant Edited by [[Nikesh Shukla]]

From the back - "What's it like to live in a country that doesn't trust you and doesn't want you unless you win an Olympic gold medal or a national baking competition." This Unbound book was inspired by a comment on a Guardian article (don't they always tell you to never read the comments?) The commenter wondered why a more prominent author wasn't interviewed in a piece by an Asian journalist who had interviewed five or six people of colour. The commentator supposed that they were all friends of the journalist just because they were mostly Asian too.So the editor got together twenty writers of colour to talk about what it felt like to be a person of colour in modern day Britain. This was written before the Referendum though, so I can only imagine that it has got worse.

Hence there are personal stories about anglicisation of names, the treatment of Muslims at airports, what it felt like to have no good role models and therefore to choose Kendo Nagasacki as one, why stories have to be about white people and many more.

This is good writing and it is important writing. Representation is massively important and in today's social climate needed more than ever. I was very happy to support this on Unbound and glad it was such a great read, as well as being something I'd like to place in the hands of nearly everyone. Read this, it's important, I'd say...

If you want an idea of the quality & type of writing then you can read this piece by Riz Ahmed. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/15/riz-ahmed-typecast-as-a-terrorist ( )
  psutto | Oct 5, 2016 |
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The Good Immigrant, a collection of essays about black and ethnic minority experience and identity in Britain today, is inconsistent, infuriating, uncomfortable and just occasionally insulting. It is also right to be every one of those things, and highly recommended.
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