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Top 5 books about migrants, chosen by Sam Miller

Journalist Sam Miller knows a lot about migration. He moved to Delhi in the 1990s, and has been travelling across the world ever since. He selects five books that explore the global experience of migrants throughout time

Migrants

Image: Mamadou Traore from Pixabay

The Aeneid by Virgil

One of the great epics about migrants, with themes that are as important now as they were 2,000 years ago. Aeneas is a refugee who flees war in what is now Turkey, and crisscrosses the Mediterranean before settling in Rome. And there’s a fine new translation (called The Aeneid) by Shadi Bartsch.  

On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe by Caroline Dodds Pennock

An exemplary work of recent non-fiction that retells the stories of Native Americans who came to Europe in the wake of the European conquest. 

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The Art of Losing by Alice Zeniter, translated by Frank Wynne

A superb and underrated multi-generational tale of an extended Algerian family, set in Algeria and France from the 1950s to the present.  

Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation by Colin Grant

A well-crafted and deeply moving compilation of first-person accounts by Caribbean migrants who came to the UK between the 1940s and ’60s.

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond, illustrated by Peggy Fortnum

Yes, Paddington, whose story can be read as the tale of an undocumented child migrant from Peru. He turns up at a certain railway station in the 1950s, claiming to have got there by lifeboat. And his real name, Pastuso, is too difficult for Londoners to pronounce.  

Migrants by Sam Miller book cover

Migrants by Sam Miller is out now (Abacus, £25). You can buy it, and others featured in this article from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income.To support our work buy a copy! If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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