Two-Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents is an anthology of flash memoir, personal essays and poetry from over sixty writers who were either born and/or raised in the U.S. by one or more immigrant parent. The work describes the many contradictions, discoveries and life lessons one experiences when one is neither seen as fully American nor fully foreign. Contributors include Richard Blanco, Tina Chang, Li-Young Lee, Timothy Liu, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ira Sukrungruang, Ocean Vuong and many other talented writers.
Blurb: “When you hold in your DNA two-countries — the cultures, the languages, the foods and stories — you embody richness. These writers know on a cellular level many-layered ways to live, to struggle, to love. Here are voices we need to hear, writers we need to read. This is a brilliant, timely book, an antidote to divisiveness.” – Peggy Shumaker, Author of “Just Breath Normally.” Poet, Professor and former Alaska State Writer Laureate.
Blurb: “As one of the essays in this marvelous anthology reminds us, the notion of home can encompass the complex differences between house, country, birthplace, and homeland. Given that amplitude, it turns out that Two-Countries is about dozens of countries, about dozens of intimate histories that map the latitudes of leaving and belonging. Every anthology makes an argument, and the one Tina Schumann movingly presents in Two-Countries is that the American experiment of multiplicity has been, by turns, painful and redemptive. In their accounts of assimilation and nostalgia, celebration and resistance, the poets and writers in Two-Countries show that one result of our ongoing national experiment is a rich deepening in our literature. We may be in perilous times as a country, but our writers have never been in more ferocious health.” – Rick Barot, Author of “Chord” and recipient of the PEN Open Book Award.
From the introduction..
“My mother, Mélida Luz Sol Schumann (1926-2003), was born in El Salvador, Central America and immigrated to the United States in 1940 at the age of fourteen. I am the youngest of my mother’s four children born and raised in the U.S. While I now appreciate the many complex elements that influenced my development as the daughter of an immigrant mother and U.S. born and raised Irish/German father, as a child I not only took this reality for granted, but shied away from volunteering information about my mother’s origins or the fact that half of my extended family spoke Spanish as their first language. I see now how unique my family experiences were and are. How differently my mother and I viewed our roles as women, our expectations of life, relationships, careers and world views because of how, where and when we came of age. I also reflect on the many instances in which my mother’s origins were pointed out to her and I in everyday life. What she went through in order to assimilate but maintain her own culture, language and ethnic particularities. I know there are many writers out there like me. I have wanted to provide a venue for our voices and experiences for some years now. Hence the anthology.” – Tina Schumann, Editor