... has the startling distinction of being the first global anthology of migration literature ... bears the clear if charmless structure of a seminar, complete with a recommended reading section. But [Ahmad's] introduction is fiery and charismatic, almost outshining the pieces themselves. The book doesn’t exist to benignly bear witness or give voice but to dislodge the lazy, pernicious — and dominant — conceptions of migration, she writes, to tell a more truthful and sophisticated version than the linear narrative of departure, arrival and assimilation. These stories and poems push back against the fallacies that migration is always elective; that migrants are always keen to leave their home countries; that migration is one-way, and necessarily leads to a better fate ... This book encompasses the diversity of experience, with beautiful variations and stories that bicker back and forth.
... timely, yet not political ... Ahmad’s thoughtfully built anthology covers the span of 300 years and 30 countries, and readers will find satisfaction whether they read it section by section, or by randomly choosing selections as the mood strikes. Ahmad’s introduction explains the concepts and reasons behind the structure of the book, information about the authors is also provided, as well as lots of suggestions for further reading and viewing.
With the exception of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Displaced, no similar recent collection of evocative reflections on the migration experience exists. This will appeal to students and general readers, if only as a starting point for further exploration.
... well-curated ... compact but eye-opening ... The breadth of Ahmad’s selections is impressive given that she doesn’t have a ton of space with which to work ... Given the breadth and depth of the genre, this is a first-rate starting point for exploring migration literature and is almost certain to be taught in schools in the near future. Don’t miss the Suggestions for Further Reading and Viewing at the back of the text, which is also excellently curated ... A welcome, pocket-sized introduction to migration literature.