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What We Gain When We Welcome

AJC-Decatur Festival 2019 What We Gain When We Welcome

There are few subjects in American life that prompt more discussion and controversy than immigration. In his new memoir, My Parents: An Introduction; This Does Not Belong To You, Aleksandar Hemon examines the personal story of his family’s immigration from Sarajevo. It is a story of many Hemons—his parents, sister, uncles, and cousins—and also of German occupying forces, Yugoslav partisans, royalist Serb collaborators, and a few befuddled Canadians. In This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto, the renowned author Suketu Mehta attacks the issue of immigration pragmatically. Drawing on his own experience as an Indian-born teenager growing up in New York City and on years of reporting around the world, Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. As he explains, the West is being destroyed not by immigrants but by the fear of immigrants. Join us in this timely discussion.

This event is part of The PEN America Immigration Track at the 2019 Decatur Book Festival. Free and open to the public, the annual Decatur Book Festival takes place in more than a dozen venues throughout downtown Decatur. To learn more, click here.

Aleksandar Hemon photoAleksandar Hemon is the author of The Making of Zombie Wars; The Book of My Lives, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times bestseller; and three books of short stories, including Nowhere Man, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Genius Grant from the MacArthur Foundation. His most recent book is the dual memoir, MY PARENTS: An Introduction and THIS DOES NOT BELONG TO YOU, published by MCD/FSG.

Suketu MehtaSuketu Mehta photo is the author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and won the Kiriyama Prize and the Hutch Crossword Award. His work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Granta, Harper’s, Time, and GQ. He has won a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writers’ Award, and an O. Henry Prize. He was born in Calcutta and lives in New York City, where he is an associate professor of journalism at New York University. His most recent book is THIS LAND IS OUR LAND: An Immigrant’s Manifesto, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in June 2019.