DEMAND AN END TO POVERTY THIS GENERAL ELECTION
TAKE ACTION
Books

Top 5 books on migration by women, chosen by Sophie Buchaillard

The contemporary fiction writer and tutor selects five books that tell the poignant stories of migrants around the world.

syrian migrants

Image: Alexas Fotos on Pixabay

Sophie Buchaillard, author of This Is Not Who We Are, chooses five books that tell the stories of migration by women.

1. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka  

A deeply haunting novel, told in the collective ‘we’, that recounts the experience(s) of Japanese women who journeyed to America between the two world wars to become catalogue brides.  

2. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  

A circular story of a young Nigerian couple and their contrasting experiences of being outsiders in America and London, and the pull of coming home. A very personal account and a sharp social reflection on what it means to be a migrant today. 

3.Inhale/Exile  by Abeer Ameer 

A poignant poetry collection inspired by Ameer’s Iraqi heritage that reads like a meditation. It celebrates the resilience of her forebearers and extended family in the face of forced migration.  

4. The Country of Others by Leïla Slimani  

This Is Not Who We Are by Sophie Buchaillard
is out now (Seren, £9.99)

This novel challenges the stereotypes we hold about migration. Set between 1944 and 1956, it retraces the steps of Mathilde, a young girl from Alsace who falls in love with a Moroccan fighting for France during World War 2 and follows him back to rural Morocco, where they are married against a backdrop of anticolonial violence. 

5. The Dragons, The Giant, The Women by Wayétu Moore A touching memoir retracing Moore’s escape from war-torn Liberia from the perspective of her five-year-old self.

This Is Not Who We Are by Sophie Buchaillard
is out now (Seren, £9.99)
. You can buy it 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.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
'The threat to our rights': Women share what keeps them awake at night in honour of Ulysses' Molly Bloom
Illustration by Chris Bentham
Books

'The threat to our rights': Women share what keeps them awake at night in honour of Ulysses' Molly Bloom

Top 5 children's books for summer
Books

Top 5 children's books for summer

'Future is as shaky as its ever been': Will Baillie Gifford funding row kill our book festivals?
Books

'Future is as shaky as its ever been': Will Baillie Gifford funding row kill our book festivals?

How books can help children understand the crushing challenges of poverty
Books

How books can help children understand the crushing challenges of poverty

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know