Migratory Patterns

The stories of Asian immigration to America have formed a genre of their own. In the novels of Bharati Mukherjee or Amy Tan (to take two of its superstar practitioners), or in the works of lesser writers, the narrative often goes something like this: an immigrant family lands in America, pursuing economic or political freedom. Its members are dogged by battles to secure permanent residency and jobs commensurate with their sense of self-worth. As these take place, nostalgia builds for Asian traditions, from which the family's younger generations have begun to drift. Cross-cultural and cross-generational misunderstandings multiply, but at...

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