A Map Is Only One Story
From rediscovering an ancestral village in China to experiencing the realities of American life as a Nigerian, the search for belonging crosses borders and generations. Selected from the archives of Catapult magazine, the essays in A Map Is Only One Story highlight the human side of immigration policies and polarized rhetoric, as twenty writers share provocative personal stories of existing between languages and cultures.Victoria Blanco relates how those with family in both El Paso and Ciudad Juárez experience life on the border. Nina Li Coomes recalls the heroines of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki and what they taught her about her bicultural identity. Nur Nasreen Ibrahim details her grandfather’s crossing of the India-Pakistan border sixty years after Partition. Krystal A. Sital writes of how undocumented status in the United States can impact love and relationships. Porochista Khakpour describes the challenges in writing (and rewriting) Iranian America. Through the power of personal narratives, as told by both emerging and established writers, A Map Is Only One Story offers a new definition of home in the twenty-first century.

A Map Is Only One Story Details

TitleA Map Is Only One Story
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 11th, 2020
PublisherCatapult
ISBN-139781948226783
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Writing, Essays, Autobiography, Memoir

A Map Is Only One Story Review

  • Kathryn in FL
    January 1, 1970
    Available in February 2020My feelings about this collection of non-fiction essays is mixed. I have always been very invested in reading stories and talking to actual immigrants about their expectations and experiences prior to immigration, and their current perceptions once they have become citizens or residents of the U.S. Three of my grandparents emigrated to the U.S. in the early 20th century from Europe, with the full Ellis Island Experience. Since I was the last child in the family, none of Available in February 2020My feelings about this collection of non-fiction essays is mixed. I have always been very invested in reading stories and talking to actual immigrants about their expectations and experiences prior to immigration, and their current perceptions once they have become citizens or residents of the U.S. Three of my grandparents emigrated to the U.S. in the early 20th century from Europe, with the full Ellis Island Experience. Since I was the last child in the family, none of my grandparents were living, when I came on the scene. This gap created many questions for me at a very young age. I am naturally curious and so this has been a life long pursuit to understand the motivations and experiences of those moving their entire life behind and leaving those closest to them. My maternal grandfather, left Norway unmarried in his late 30's and settled in Baltimore. While my parents shared a few memories of their experiences being a child of immigrants, this was not entirely unusual in their childhood though it was for mine. Thus, I expected to hear more about adjustments experienced in a new society as many books, documentaries, movies and conversations have focused on over my fifty plus years. That is not what I got from reading the stories.Several stories were filled with anger. Anger toward the reports from family members or friends who had left and returned telling what now seemed embellished tales of opportunity, that the author had not found and his circumstances not meeting expectations. A lot of that anger was also directed at Americans. Of course, many dreams are just that. Dreams are the stuff of fantasies and having to establish a new residence, learn new laws, find a suitable job and manage money is challenging for citizens born here, so it would be more so, when you adapt to a different way of living standard and resources are different. To be wholly honest, it sounded very immature (two stories stand out) and resentful. One compared his African homeland as being much better because the complexity of the living circumstances here and the high cost of living comparatively. I'll leave you to your on conclusions. Many of the writers focused on their American experiences, the majority of the writers were from the continents of the Africa and Asia with a few from the Middle East. One story focused on the frustration of an Indian trying to move temporarily to another Asia country with great difficulty. Certain Asian countries have had challenges to their own infrastructure after allowing extremely wealthy Indian business persons to establish commercial enterprises, thus they are banned from establishing residents even as foreign nationals. Another woman raised in Pakistan, recounts her first visit to her grandfathers village in India. She recounts his experience to suddenly relocate when Partition happened in the late 1940's. It was very insightful and having read at least 40 books, many non-fiction about life in India and reading first hand accounts from Indians (I supported a charity located there for more than 30 years), this was fascinating to me. Likewise, I have been very focused on the African experience though books from the past are much harder to come by than the many that are not being released.I had considered for more than a decade moving abroad and nearly did so, twenty years ago and a sudden change in circumstances stopped that from becoming a reality. Thus, this offered the emotional side of abruptly changing one's entire life. A few stories were also shared from the perspective of children of immigrants and the strain of navigating two cultures that are quite different. They challenge they face when seeing their parents seeming more loyal to their homeland while they have embraced more Western thought and ideals.Overall, I enjoyed the many of the insights shared. The level of the writing was excellent. All the writers had a firm grasp of English and sentence structure so there was not a challenge in language or its style of delivery. However, the attitudes of a few of the authors were a little hard to stomach and I even debated finishing their essay. So, there is a bit of a hodge podge in the offerings. I wouldn't tell someone not to read it, especially if they haven't met an immigrant or a few. Even as an individual living in an International city full of immigrants (the transition has been phenomenal over the past 25 years). I've met hundreds of people from all over the world and seek them out to make them feel welcome and less lonely. I have befriended quite a few, inviting them for a meal and an ear. I've also been romantically involved with "foreign" born individuals. So, I am glad I read it. Though, overall, I think many believe the Hollywood version of America, which unfortunately motivates them to come only to see a very different reality. I don't know many American born people with unlimited income (I have found many, many immigrants think that Americans have much more money than many actually do, nor do they realize how many Americans are in the choke-hold of debt.). This unlimited resources expectation was confirmed in more than one essay I read. There was also a disconnect, with some having the expectation, that they were "owed" aid in establishing their new life by family/friends/acquaintances/citizens and when that was not provided, bitterness ensued. Again, as an adult, we are entirely responsible for our own well being, though I deeply believe we are also responsible for our neighbors especially when unexpected events occur. My perception is that those who are unhappy here, may have been just as unhappy before they came, because it is an internal issue. As I walked by an Immigration Attorney's office today, I saw a large family getting out of their vehicle heading for the building, they were laughing and teasing one another. It made me smile. Wherever we are, we chose our attitude and how we respond to circumstances. One of my favorite sayings is, "Happiness is an Inside Job". I am totally empathetic with anyone who desires to embrace new adventures abroad, but managing expectations is critically important when encountering the new culture.I have already recommended this book to a friend, who is of Indian/Pakistan Heritage. He is looking forward to this reading adventure.Thank you to Catapult for providing me the opportunity to learn more about immigration in the 21st century in sharing this gift. Thank you to the authors for sharing their feelings and experiences to their new neighbors. All opinions are my own and they were not influenced by the receipt of the book.
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  • Catapult
    January 1, 1970
    In the first published anthology of writing from Catapult magazine, twenty writers share stories of migration, family, the search for home and belonging, and what it means to exist between languages and cultures.
  • Preeti
    January 1, 1970
    What I love most about essay collections is that they introduce me to many new writers I would not have otherwise come across. This anthology was well worth the read just for that. There actually quite a few essays by South Asian women in here too! Some of my favorite essays were, A Map of Lost Things by Jamila Osman, Return to Partition by Nur Nasreen Ibrahim, Undocumented Lovers in America by Krystal A. Sital, How to Stop Saying Sorry When Things Aren't Your Fault by Kamna Muddagouni, The What I love most about essay collections is that they introduce me to many new writers I would not have otherwise come across. This anthology was well worth the read just for that. There actually quite a few essays by South Asian women in here too! Some of my favorite essays were, A Map of Lost Things by Jamila Osman, Return to Partition by Nur Nasreen Ibrahim, Undocumented Lovers in America by Krystal A. Sital, How to Stop Saying Sorry When Things Aren't Your Fault by Kamna Muddagouni, The Wailing by Nadia Owusu and How to Write Iranian America; or The Last Essay by Porochista Khakpour. 
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  • Sachi Argabright
    January 1, 1970
    A MAP IS ONLY ONE STORY is an anthology collection of essays focused on immigration. This book features 20 writers and their unique stories that explore family, being caught between cultures, and what it truly means to be home. Told from a diverse set of voices from many backgrounds, this collection has many interesting perspectives that will resonate with many readers.This recent release is something you wont want to miss! I absolutely loved reading this collection, and I flew through it in a A MAP IS ONLY ONE STORY is an anthology collection of essays focused on immigration. This book features 20 writers and their unique stories that explore family, being caught between cultures, and what it truly means to be home. Told from a diverse set of voices from many backgrounds, this collection has many interesting perspectives that will resonate with many readers.This recent release is something you won’t want to miss! I absolutely loved reading this collection, and I flew through it in a couple sittings. Most of the essays were ‪around 10-15‬ pages, and I kept finding myself saying, “Okay, just one more,” after each one. The essay that resonated with me the most was “What Miyazaki’s Heroines Taught Me About My Mixed-Race Identity” by Nina Li Coomes. The introduction of this book notes a couple essays including one that “recalls the heroines of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki and what they taught her about her bicultural identity.” I immediately flipped to that essay first, and read it right away. As a biracial Japanese American woman who grew up watching all the Studio Ghibli films, this is one of the only things I’ve read in my life that really reflected my own personal experience. I’ve read many books about being Japanese, or being a biracial Asian American, or loving Japanese media like Ghibli films – but never all three at once. I’m sincerely thankful that this book features so many unique voices, and that it linked me to a writer whose works I will now be scouring the internet for. Overall, I highly recommend this collection and can’t wait to see what other anthologies Catapult publishes in the future!Perfect for readers who love immigrant stories, or those who love diverse anthology collections.[ I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review]
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  • Nicole Means
    January 1, 1970
    "A Map is Only One Story" needs to be integrated in history courses internationally. As a social studies teacher, I anxiously awaited this book for months prior to its release--this book exceeded my expectations because the diversity of voices represented throughout the essays are powerful representations of the immigrant experience. The editors selected diverse voices that will help readers move beyond a 'single story' of the immigrant experience--not all immigrants are the same culture, "A Map is Only One Story" needs to be integrated in history courses internationally. As a social studies teacher, I anxiously awaited this book for months prior to its release--this book exceeded my expectations because the diversity of voices represented throughout the essays are powerful representations of the immigrant experience. The editors selected diverse voices that will help readers move beyond a 'single story' of the immigrant experience--not all immigrants are the same culture, religion. or share the same origin! I can tell how mindful the the editors were in selecting the 20 voices for this particular collection. I hope this is the first of several more anthologies from the two editors--so many voices are missing from our history lessons and need to be brought to the forefront! I, for one, will share these stories with my students in hopes that they will understand that history and maps only tell one story--but we must seek to find the voices of those who have been silenced. Kudos to Nicole Chung and Mensah Demary for this powerful anthology; ultimately, it is through collections such as this that will change the rhetoric of our nation.
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  • Ruby
    January 1, 1970
    "Where are you from? People stilll ask me, but the answer is not simple. I am from a place beyond the scope of any map or road atlas. I am from a house of borrowed things, a land of irreconcilable and devastating losses, a terrain marked by grief. I am from nomads who moved in search of water, carving a home wherever they ended up, like water carves itsnshape into rock. I am from wild hope, a blinding courage, a blur and madness uncharted by any cartographer. I am from a land unmapped and "Where are you from? People stilll ask me, but the answer is not simple. I am from a place beyond the scope of any map or road atlas. I am from a house of borrowed things, a land of irreconcilable and devastating losses, a terrain marked by grief. I am from nomads who moved in search of water, carving a home wherever they ended up, like water carves itsnshape into rock. I am from wild hope, a blinding courage, a blur and madness uncharted by any cartographer. I am from a land unmapped and entirely my own.""A map does not proclaim that the United States in Indian country, occupied land. On a map, someone can trace a finger from one Anglicized city name to another and forget these lands were and are known by other names. Maps are a polite fiction. They never tell the whole story. They don't mark important things, like graves or genocides.""When the colonists came, they committed out edges to paper; they tried to cage us with their borders. A country is impossible to contain; a people are impossible to boil to the silt of parchment. A map is only one story. It is not the most important story. The most important story is the one a people tell about themselves.""To love a thing is to steel yourself against its eventual absence. I am learning to mourn a thing before it is lost.""I remember my brother sobbing in our mom's embrace, and my ghostlike sadness, tears I mimicked but didn't comprehend, because I hadn't yet learned that life gone never comes back.""Indigenous and mestizomen and women, who once lived from the land, stand in assembly lines for double shifts, fitting a handle, a lid, a chip, a screw with the kind of orecision that causes their necks and backs to strain.""El Paso and Juarez depend on each other economically, but even more important, families cross back and forth every day to visit one another. We knew the fence was a violence to our binational culture. We knew the fence would create a distance between us and our family in Juarez, when what we wanted was for all of us to live peacefully.""Nobody leaves home thinking they will never be able to return. I wonder what my parents would have taken with them when they left their home in Somalia in the late '80s. Who might they have made amends with, what old haunts would they have visited one last time if they knew they would never be back?""I had already learned that to be part of a disaspora was to live freely, to make no promises. In phone calls to faraway relatives my parents always swore they would return, but distance and time make liars of us all.""My father knew how to get everywhere; it was what we always admired most about him. But even he who could name the capitals of countries all over the world could never figure out how to get back home.""Hope makes children of us all, foolish, and reckless, and devout.""We are a roving tribe of wanderers, scattered siblings, lost youth, reluctant expatriates, victims of impossible and auspicious circumstances. Everyone looks at us like we are lost. They ask us what we have come to find. We have no answers. A body always returns to the place that shaped it. A body always returns to its ghosts.""I might blend in with these people on the surface, but they are nothing like me. Though I sit patiently, I want to shake them, say: Do you know how lucky you are? How virtue is bestowed upon you by your birth, by the land that owns you? Do you see that you can dress in rags while I must watch how I present myself at all times, knowing what the sight of my passport will do? I want to ask: How many Indian backpackers have you met? No students, not immigrants, but backpackers, freely exploring the world? Do you realize how the world belongs to you? Do you know how long other people have to wait for something as simple as a passport?""Humans in an exodus: trudging, lurching, flinging, themselves toward the European Union, drowning in the sea, living in tents, in the woods, in shelters, in strange cities far away, on the edge, neither here nor there, but desperate to live all the same. Paperless, homeless, failed by institutions, by leaders, by neighbors. Clinging to humanity all the same.""Sometimes it seems to me a miracle that so many worlds exist on the same planet and don't collapse into one another and collapse.""No land is secure, and no border trylu stable. History creeps, and it breaks.""Adults with responsibilities seldom wake up at dawn adorned with joy. I am fine. I guess I am fine. But America kicked harder with those questions that open archways to depression: meaning of life; now what and what next; thoughts of time missing by; of luck and determinism; the pointless of all things; doomsday. What's so wrong with suicide? We wrote on this and forgot in philosophy classes at the Uniersity of Benin. At first, I thought it was a change-of-scene syndrome that would pass. Then I was sure it was a depression caused by the twilight of America clashing against my home country. The offending news bites I thought would be easy to nix: mute, block, unfollow, unsubscribe.""It is impossible to avoid the flames of America...In America, apocalypse ticked minutes away. Here, suicide, homicide, and wrong sides blindside millions. Misery climbed out of the news to hug you close...""I have yet to learn the dangers of the American inferno. How do I learn to feel black? How do I not treat Black lives Matter like All Lives Matter? When the American blacks rage about their black experience, do I have any right to speak? How do I remember to react when a white person uses the n-word in my presence? When is a white person just doing their job, or having a bad day, or just being drunk and not being racist? When are whites just being kind? How do I know that my failures and denials have nothing to do with my skin color? Would I need pills to shoulder the knowledge of these answers?""Her story as I gleaned it was one of a repeated breach between the known and unkown worlds, a separation from people and things she knew that cycled over the course of her life. A conflict of near and far, known and unkown, remembered and forgotten.""I was furious at you now, or I was furious at the idea of you, of who you represented: white women everywhere who could, like you taught me how to slip on and off the board, fluidly slip in and out of spaces, toy with danger, give danger a name, call it a gig, a job, a lifestyle.""You had told me what it was like you to be you, and I had told you what it was like to be me. We couldn't have traded places even if we wanted to. We were born into the skin we were in, destined for each of our circumstances. I can only guess that there was guilt on your part, an underow of disdain on mine. But still, I think of you, and I think of how I like you just fine, K.L. I even want to be you, live through you. I want you to keep surfing, to live dangerously, to be cool. I would like you even if you committed crime again, if you dared to go back to living so close to the edge. Why would it matter? You'd get away with it. Not me. I'm brown, an immigrant. I'm forever clean. But you'd get away with danger. Fot both of us. For those parts of you and me that are just underneath, that are brewing, coming to a swell, like rip current backwashing from the shore, pulling to the deep.""Partition holds a strange place in our memory. On the one hand, it was a tragedy, a tearing asunder, a rejection of religious coexistence. On the other hand, it led to the creation of Pakistan, a nation for the persecuted Muslim minority, as I was taught in school. It created my home. I was taught pride in belonging to a country of underdogs. We prevailed against British imperialism and Hindu nationalism, or so we believed.""I understood now that my santuary lay in the messy sheaf of handwritten and typed sheets splayed across its surface, and also within the pages of my modest collection of used books.""There was no first-generation orientation for commencement weekend; no one to prepare me for the jarring collision of the home my dad brought with him and the bubble I'd spent four years building; no instructions for the day I learned, suddenly and grotesquely, that the American ideal of upward mobility is a solo mission.""As the questions about what I am and what I represent emerge, I often find myself silenced, unable to give a concise answer.""As a child, unable to name and parse the complex traumas of diasporic life, I found meaning in apologizing. But in doing so, I lost the language to express my own discomfort and to give myself space to grieve.""Thinking of apologizing in my home language has allowed me to understand the act of apologizing as inherently connected to asking for forgiveness. It reminds me that I do not need to blame myself for others' pain. I can empathize with it without the need to offer language to take personal responsibility.""I counted my losses and waited for the cold ise of them to melt into tears, but they hardened even more. They frosted and stuck to each other, heavy in my chest. The heaviness made me keep that vow to my mother for ten years, despite her attempts to reconcile. It made me slow to love people and quick to leave them, to hurt them before they could hurt me.""We didn't know how to live without him. But, if we maintained the world exactly the way he built it, perhaps we could survive.""In these long blocks of lyrical prose, I was following an instinct I didn't fully comprehend. I felt each address open up a wide field that could contain all the disparate yet overlapping emotions, atmospheres, and histories I had been wanting to hold in one hand. It was like drawing a boundry around a grouping of stars or cupping some water from the sea. The blocks of text didn't try to parse the entanglements; they allowed the tension between sentences to carry all the absences, ambiguities, and silences I could never before say-how knowledge in an immigrant household so often comes in tides that approach and recede, how there are always gaps and missing ghosts, how all the fear and protection and silence and love comes so mixed together it would be a falsehood to separate them.""At some point I decided that either my parents didn't know much of their family narratives-a lineage misplaced among the turbulence-or they didn't have the language, linguistically or emotionally, to communicate with me about it. As for so many children of immigrants, their lives came to me in little fragments and echoes that I collected in my palm like rainwater.""...to be wary of strangers and unfamiliar situations; to keep myself and carry out my work invisibly; that a home is something one leaves over and over.""All writers in some way compose love letters to their obsessions. A letter can be a document of deep ambivalences, contradictions, and silences, submerged in the complexities of shared and unshared histories. Or: a longing to locate two disparate points in an expanse of sky.""To choose a way you want to define yourself and then dress deliberately toward fulfilling that vision was magic to me. It was a clean talent. I didn't know how to make other people see me, but I wanted to.""There is nothing easy about migration. It is a search for a better life, but in this way it is also a death. How easily would you choose to leave this life? How quickly, if the decision were made for you? It is a line you cannot uncross, whether you are lucky enough to visit every few years or if you left knowing you will never return. Everyone and everything you knew and loved are gone.""This pursuit of passions-not for a better life or to avert poverty, nor to provide for family, nor, well, to live-underpins the American dream. What the dream narrative leaves out is that even embarking on its pursuit requires privileges. When Trump upholds immigration as a privilege, he is upholding privileged as a preexisting condition, and with it, the bedrock of privilege-its invisibility.""My immigration has been one of choice, self-determination, of debt, and of privilege. Yet before I fill out the application for citizenship, fear reveals what is as invisible as privilege: that there is a point where self-determination confronts power and authority. Ask anyone who applies for a credit card, or a home loan, or a job. Ask most poor and/or Black or immigrant folk. Exercising your choice doesn't always result in getting what you want. This is the unspoken fallacy that determines who lives the American dream, and who doesn't.""Let your truth cme out hard and fast and untranslatable because no one else will see it anyway."
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  • Sarah Crass
    January 1, 1970
    A collection of 20 essays - insights into the lives of individuals and families living far from home. All choosing immigration for different reasons - all struggling to reconcile identity and home. Powerful, proud, strong and honest. An excellent book. A collection of 20 essays - insights into the lives of individuals and families living far from “home”. All choosing immigration for different reasons - all struggling to reconcile identity and “home”. Powerful, proud, strong and honest. An excellent book.
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  • Joy
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 * rounded up I am conflicted with this review. On one hand, it's important for diverse voices to be heard. Stories from immigrants, existing in liminal places, experiencing cultural schizophrenia, struggling to survive day to day. I appreciate their honesty and sincerity in conveying what they and their families have been through.However, I can't shrug off that the quality of writing in this anthology is mediocre. Take 'A Map of Lost Things,' tied to the title of this anthology. Jamila Osman 2.5 * rounded up I am conflicted with this review. On one hand, it's important for diverse voices to be heard. Stories from immigrants, existing in liminal places, experiencing cultural schizophrenia, struggling to survive day to day. I appreciate their honesty and sincerity in conveying what they and their families have been through.However, I can't shrug off that the quality of writing in this anthology is mediocre. Take 'A Map of Lost Things,' tied to the title of this anthology. Jamila Osman attempts to build an allegory between the salmon who return to spawn after swimming thousands of miles with her family's fate moving from Somalia to Alberta Canada to Portland America. The analogy doesn't work, the author signalled her tell from the start of the essay and instead of binding the piece, it just fell apart. There are shards of angst, bitterness and discontent suffusing the stories but most of the stories need to be more polished. Not cleaned up for public consumption, more attention paid to flow and the points they want to get across. Some of the essays descended into unedited unfocused ranting that things were not how they expected at the new place.There is a lot of excellent literature dealing with the immigrant diaspora experience, the tragedies that occur with borders. The Partition in 1947 of India and Pakistan yields a rich well of material for the latter. I recommend 'An Unrestored Woman' by Shobha Rao for that. A Map is Only One Thing falls short unfortunately as these essayists need to work at honing their craft of writing. It doesn't negate their stories, just they need to be told better.
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  • Ben Truong
    January 1, 1970
    A Map Is Only One Story: Twenty Writers on Immigration, Family, and the Meaning of Home is an anthology of twenty personal essays, which was collected and edited by Nicole Chung and Mensah Demary. It is a collection of personal essays about immigration and the meaning of home from twenty emerging and established women writers.For the most part, I rather like most if not all of these contributions. A Map Is Only One Story: Twenty Writers on Immigration, Family, and the Meaning of Home is an A Map Is Only One Story: Twenty Writers on Immigration, Family, and the Meaning of Home is an anthology of twenty personal essays, which was collected and edited by Nicole Chung and Mensah Demary. It is a collection of personal essays about immigration and the meaning of home from twenty emerging and established women writers.For the most part, I rather like most if not all of these contributions. A Map Is Only One Story: Twenty Writers on Immigration, Family, and the Meaning of Home is an anthology of twenty personal essays from writers from the world over, including both documented and undocumented immigrants, as well as first, second, and third-generation Americans and focused on the theme of immigration to the United States and, in one piece, Canada.Like most anthologies there are weaker contributions and A Map Is Only One Story: Twenty Writers on Immigration, Family, and the Meaning of Home is not an exception. There are a couple of essays that weren't as written as well as the others, but still good nevertheless. This collection is a vital corrective to discussions of global migration that fail to acknowledge the humanity of migrants themselves.All in all, A Map Is Only One Story: Twenty Writers on Immigration, Family, and the Meaning of Home is a fierce and diverse, these essays tell personal stories that humanize immigration in unique, necessary ways.
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  • Maddie Elise
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, after reflecting on my experience of reading this collection of non-fiction essays on immigration, my final feelings are fairly mixed. All of the stories were beautifully written, stuffed full of beautiful prose and magical turns of storytelling. Unfortunately, this was the only thing some of them had in common. Of course, immigration is the main theme of the collection, and they do string together on this thread well-- but the attitudes of the authors were vastly different to the point Overall, after reflecting on my experience of reading this collection of non-fiction essays on immigration, my final feelings are fairly mixed. All of the stories were beautifully written, stuffed full of beautiful prose and magical turns of storytelling. Unfortunately, this was the only thing some of them had in common. Of course, immigration is the main theme of the collection, and they do string together on this thread well-- but the attitudes of the authors were vastly different to the point that the collection felt like a hodgepodge. As other reviewers have mentioned, a few of the stories were immature to the point where I didn't want to finish reading their story. This kind of hatred and juvenile storytelling doesn't offer analytical insights, a new perspective, and certainly not magnanimity, which are a few things I believe can lead to an successful non-fiction essay. With these peppered throughout, along with a fair amount of mediocre stories, the collection is unable to shine. With that said, I still wouldn't encourage people not to read this. There are definitely gems hidden about in the rough that make me feel like the experience was worthwhile. If the theme of immigration speaks to you-- certainly give this a try, but realize it's going to be pretty hit or miss.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Such a good collection of essays from twenty writers on immigration, migration, identity, home and culture. The essays (and one essay with cartoons!) are about the authors' own experiences, the experiences of their parents or the experiences of their grandparents and how it has affected them.Some are stronger than others, but I found myself thinking during a lot of them, "I'll have to include that as a favorite in the Goodreads review." Obviously, reading all of them is the best bet, but I did Such a good collection of essays from twenty writers on immigration, migration, identity, home and culture. The essays (and one essay with cartoons!) are about the authors' own experiences, the experiences of their parents or the experiences of their grandparents and how it has affected them.Some are stronger than others, but I found myself thinking during a lot of them, "I'll have to include that as a favorite in the Goodreads review." Obviously, reading all of them is the best bet, but I did particularly enjoy Shing Yin Khor's "Say It With Noodles", "Dead-Guy Shirts and Motel Kids" by Niina Pollari, "A Map of Lost Things" by Jamila Osman,"Return to Partition" by Nur Nasreen Ibrahim, "The Dress" by Soraya Membreno, "What Miyazaki's Heroines Taught Me" by Nina Li Coomes, "The Wailing" by Nadia Owusu, "My Grandmother's Patois and Other Keys to Survival" by Sharine Taylor, "Carefree White Girls, Careful Brown Girls" by Cinelle Barns and "How to Write Iranian America; or The Last Essay" by Porochista Khakpour.
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  • Lilly Schmaltz
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Catapult for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.While I dont read much non-fiction, I was enthralled by this collection of essays. The writers are diverse and pour their hearts onto the page. I could feel the hope and struggle of these writers and their families.As a transracial adoptee, I appreciated the themes of identity, family, and belonging. All are thinkings I have struggled with and these writers not only shared their unique perspectives on the topics, but Thank you to Catapult for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.While I don’t read much non-fiction, I was enthralled by this collection of essays. The writers are diverse and pour their hearts onto the page. I could feel the hope and struggle of these writers and their families.As a transracial adoptee, I appreciated the themes of identity, family, and belonging. All are thinkings I have struggled with and these writers not only shared their unique perspectives on the topics, but reminded me that I am not alone in my struggle.While the essays are deep and complex, the book is something you can pick up and put down easily. Each essay is independent and lets you pace your reading freely. If you are looking for a more diverse read and want to delve into the topic of immigration, I highly recommend this collection of personal narratives.
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  • Greg Barbee
    January 1, 1970
    An anthology almost necessarily has its strong and weak components, but the stories contained in A Map Is Only One Story consistently set the bar high. I had read the great work of many of these writers in other contexts, so their strength and vision were expected, but story after story I found myself transported to different families, different homes and different maps, culminating in a better understanding of [myself], our communities and the world we live in. Many thanks to Nicole Chung and An anthology almost necessarily has its strong and weak components, but the stories contained in A Map Is Only One Story consistently set the bar high. I had read the great work of many of these writers in other contexts, so their strength and vision were expected, but story after story I found myself transported to different families, different homes and different maps, culminating in a “better understanding of [myself], our communities and the world we live in.” Many thanks to Nicole Chung and Mensa Demary for assembling such an evocative collection. Personal favorites in the anthology are the stories from Lauren Alwan, Cinelle Barnes, Victoria Blanco, Krystal Sital and Natalia Sylvester.
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  • Chang Garcia
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting essays.
  • Cassie
    January 1, 1970
    Important read! Some of the essays were more powerful than others, but overall a 5 for its cultural and political significance.
  • dez
    January 1, 1970
    3.5* Anthologies are so hard to rate because some of these stories were 5/5, but others I found to be poorly written.
  • RAHMA SAID
    January 1, 1970
    no
  • Adeel
    January 1, 1970
    3.75/5 for this one.
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars
  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Mostly not first-tier essays, but among them some really interesting takes on immigration and its issues. I particularly liked "My Indian Passport is a Bitch," "How to Write Iranian America," "Should I Apply for Citizenship," all cover interesting perspectives of what it is like to an outsider in America. So defintely worth reading and exploring.
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