The Good Immigrant is a collection of 21 short stories by different people of colour from the UK. I decided to read it because I thought it would be interesting to see how other POC feel in a majority-white country.
This book is #ownvoices.
Let’s talk about the title. It’s great and sarcastic. For me, it symbolizes how so many POC try to be the good immigrant in countries with a white majority. No matter how good an immigrant we are, we are still not good enough.
I enjoyed reading this book, mainly because I could identify with several of the stories and I realised that I’m not alone. I am told so often that I must be misinterpreting events or actions, and to see that other people have similar experiences, validates mine and makes me feel more sure of myself.
The different stories are each written in a different style. Some of them are personal stories, others discuss a more general topic. The authors are not all the same ethnicity, religion or gender. I thought the variety made it clear that people of colour are not a monolith.
I was really surprised by the ending of the last story, as the author decides to move to Berlin. I’m moving to Scotland in September to try my luck there with a new direction and new study course, so this story resonated with me a lot!
The only problematic aspect were some comparisons to mental illnesses that I found inappropriate.
I enjoyed The Good Immigrant, especially the opportunity to read about experiences similar to mine. It’s a great book that could be used as a resource to illustrate how oppression and privilege work in the world nowadays. Thus I’d recommend it to teachers and think that it would be an educational addition to the curriculum. Personally, I wish that we had a similar anthology here in Germany.
Have you read The Good Immigrant? How do you feel about anthologies that focus on this theme? Do you have any recommnedations?