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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.

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