New books capture variety of immigrant experiences - www.jewishaz.com: Arts & Features

New books capture variety of immigrant experiences

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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 12:00 am

Even as the Statue of Liberty beckons from New York Harbor with promise, and the words at her feet proclaim refuge, the subject of immigration continues to roil the waters of the American body politic. A trio of contemporary Jewish authors, each an exceptional writer, offer compelling insights into the immigration experience that can help to inform our perspectives, Jewish and otherwise, on the pressing national issue.

David Bezmozgis, whose first book, "Natasha and Other Stories," entranced critics with its keen understanding, not to mention Bezmozgis' sly humor and deprecating style, expands his short-form take on the Soviet Jewish emigre to long form in his first novel, "The Free World, A Novel" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27 hardcover). Continuing to plumb his personal experience as an immigrant from Latvia to Canada in the late 1970s, Bezmozgis offers a beautifully nuanced read that impresses with its innate sensitivity.

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