Narrative

A
The Face: Cartography of the Void
Abani, Chris. The Face: Cartography of the Void. Brooklyn, NY: Restless Books, 2016. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"...acclaimed Nigerian-born author and poet Chris Abani has given us a profound and gorgeously wrought short memoir that navigates the stories written upon his own face. Beginning with his early childhood immersed in the Igbo culture of West Africa, Abani unfurls a lushly poetic, insightful, and funny narrative that investigates the roles that race, culture, and language play in fashioning our sense of self. As Abani so lovingly puts it, he contemplates “all the people who have touched my face, slapped it, punched it, kissed it, washed it, shaved it. All of that human contact must leave some trace, some of the need and anger that motivated that touch. This face is softened by it all. Made supple by all the wonder it has beheld, all the kindness, all the generosity of life.” The Face: Cartography of the Void is a gift to be read, re-read, shared, and treasured, from an author at the height of his artistic powers." - Publisher description.
Homeland Elegies
Akhtar, Ayad. Homeland Elegies. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home. Ayad Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the nation's unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Central Europe to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, and spares no one–least of all himself–in the process."–Provided by publisher.

In the Country: Stories
Alvar, Mia. In the Country: Stories. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A powerful, globe-trotting debut short-story collection from an exciting new writer–vivid, character-driven stories about Filipinos from every walk of life. Mia Alvar's stunning debut gives us a vivid, insightful picture of the Filipino diaspora: exiles and emigrants and wanderers uprooting their families to begin new lives in the Middle East and America–and, sometimes, turning back. One man smuggles drugs from his pharmacy in New York to Manila for his ailing father, only to discover an alarming truth about his mother. A woman living in Bahrain faces a challenge that compels her to question her marriage. A college student in Manila struggling to write fiction knows that her brother, who has gone abroad to make money, is the one living a life that stories are made of. The novella-length title story follows the unexpected fates of a journalist and a nurse during the 1970s labor strikes in Manila. Exploring the universal experience of loss, displacement, and the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined, In the Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home"–Provided by publisher.
B
The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland
Barry, Dan. The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland. New York: Harper, 2016. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A full-length account of the author's prize-winning New York Times story chronicles the exploitation and abuse case of a group of developmentally disabled workers, who for 25 years, were forced to work under harrowing conditions for virtually no wages until tenacious advocates helped them achieve their freedom."– provided by publisher.
Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers
Beam, Cris. Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers. 1st ed. Orlando, Fla: Harcourt, 2007. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
" A Los Angeles transgender school volunteer traces her work with four students whose otherwise typical teen experiences were uniquely shaped by their circumstances, in an account that describes their efforts to resolve identity challenges."
From Oppression to Grace: Women of Color and Their Dilemmas within the Academy
Berry, Theodorea Regina, and Nathalie Mizelle, ed. From Oppression to Grace: Women of Color and Their Dilemmas within the Academy. Herndon: Stylus Publishing, 2011. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"This book gives voice to the experiences of women of color–women of African, Native American, Latina, East Indian, Korean and Japanese descent–as students pursuing terminal degrees and as faculty members navigating the Academy, grappling with the dilemmas encountered by others and themselves as they exist at the intersections of their work and identities. This book uses critical race feminism (CRF) to place women of color in the center, rather than the margins, of the discussion, theorizing, research and praxis of their lives as they co-exist in the dominant culture. The first part of the book addresses the issues faced on the way to achieving a terminal degree: the struggles encountered and the lessons learned along the way. Part Two, "Pride and Prejudice: Finding Your Place After the Degree" describes the complexity of lives of women with multiple identities as scholars with family, friends, and lives at home and at work. The book concludes with the voices of senior faculty sharing their journeys and their paths to growth as scholars and individuals."
A Black Women's History of the United States
Berry, Daina Ramey, and Kali Nicole Gross. A Black Women's History of the United States. Boston: Beacon Press, 2020. eBook @ Harvard Library [Harvard Key required]Abstract
A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are—and have always been—instrumental in shaping our countryIn centering Black women's stories, two award-winning historians seek both to empower African American women and to show their allies that Black women's unique ability to make their own communities while combatting centuries of oppression is an essential component in our continued resistance to systemic racism and sexism. Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross offer an examination and celebration of Black womanhood, beginning with the first African women who arrived in what became the United States to African American women of today.A Black Women's History of the United States reaches far beyond a single narrative to showcase Black women's lives in all their fraught complexities. Berry and Gross prioritize many voices: enslaved women, freedwomen, religious leaders, artists, queer women, activists, and women who lived outside the law. The result is a starting point for exploring Black women's history and a testament to the beauty, richness, rhythm, tragedy, heartbreak, rage, and enduring love that abounds in the spirit of Black women in communities throughout the nation. (From the publisher.)
She's Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband
Boyd, Helen. She's Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press, 2007. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"Helen Boyd's husband, who had long been open about being a cross-dresser, was considering living as a woman full time. Suddenly, Boyd was confronted with the reality of what it would mean if her husband were actually to become a woman--socially, legally, and medically. Would Boyd love and desire her partner the same way? Boyd's first book, My Husband Betty, explored the relationships of cross-dressing men and their partners. This is both a sequel and a more expansive examination of gender in relationships. It's for couples who are homosexual or heterosexual, and for readers who fall anywhere along the gender continuum. As Boyd struggles to understand the nature of marriage, passion, and love, she shares her confusion and anger, providing an observation of the ways in which relationships are gendered, and how we cope, or don't, with the emotional and sexual pressures that gender roles can bring to our relationships." --From publisher description.

C
The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America
Cervini, Eric. The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America. New York: Picador, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"In 1957, Frank Kameny, a rising astronomer working for the U.S. Defense Department in Hawaii, received a summons to report immediately to Washington, D.C. The Pentagon had reason to believe he was a homosexual, and after a series of humiliating interviews, Kameny, like countless gay men and women before him, was promptly dismissed from his government job. Unlike many others, though, Kameny fought back. Based on firsthand accounts, recently declassified FBI records, and forty thousand personal documents, Eric Cervini's The Deviant's War unfolds over the course of the 1960s, as the Mattachine Society of Washington, the group Kameny founded, became the first organization to protest the systematic persecution of gay federal employees. It traces the forgotten ties that bound gay rights to the Black Freedom Movement, the New Left, lesbian activism, and trans resistance. Above all, it is a story of America (and Washington) at a cultural and sexual crossroads; of shocking, byzantine public battles with Congress; of FBI informants; murder; betrayal; sex; love; and ultimately victory."–Provided by publisher.
Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam
Chan-Malik, Sylvia. Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam. New York: New York University Press, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"For Sylvia Chan-Malik, Muslim womanhood is constructed through everyday and embodied acts of resistance, what she calls affective insurgency. In negotiating the histories of anti-Blackness, U.S. imperialism, and women's rights of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Being Muslim explores how U.S. Muslim women's identities are expressions of Islam as both Black protest religion and universal faith tradition. Through archival images, cultural texts, popular media, and interviews, the author maps how communities of American Islam became sites of safety, support, spirituality, and social activism, and how women of color were central to their formation. By accounting for American Islam's rich histories of mobilization and community, Being Muslim brings insight to the resistance that all Muslim women must engage in the post-9/11 United States. From the stories that she gathers, Chan-Malik demonstrates the diversity and similarities of Black, Arab, South Asian, Latina, and multiracial Muslim women, and how American understandings of Islam have shifted against the evolution of U.S. white nationalism over the past century. In borrowing from the lineages of Black and women-of-color feminism, Chan-Malik offers us a new vocabulary for U.S. Muslim feminism, one that is as conscious of race, gender, sexuality, and nation, as it is region and religion."-- Publisher description.

Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration
Corchado, Alfredo. Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration. New York, London, Oxford: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"When Alfredo Corchado moved to Philadelphia in 1987, he felt as if he was the only Mexican in the city. But in a restaurant called Tequilas, he connected with two other Mexican men and one Mexican American, all feeling similarly isolated. Over the next three decades, the four friends continued to meet, coming together over their shared Mexican roots and their love of tequila. One was a radical activist, another a restaurant/tequila entrepreneur, the third a lawyer/politician. Alfredo himself was a young reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Homelands merges the political and the personal, telling the story of the last great Mexican migration through the eyes of four friends at a time when the Mexican population in the United States swelled from 700,000 people during the 1970s to more than 35 million people today. It is the narrative of the United States in a painful economic and political transition. As we move into a divisive, nativist new era of immigration politics, Homelands is a must-read to understand the past and future of the immigrant story in the United States, and the role of Mexicans in shaping America's history. A deeply moving book full of colorful characters searching for home, it is essential reading."
The Undocumented Americans
Cornejo Villavicencio, Karla. The Undocumented Americans. New York: One World, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"Traveling across the country, journalist Karla Cornejo Villavicencio risked arrest at every turn to report the extraordinary stories of her fellow undocumented Americans. Her subjects have every reason to be wary around reporters, but Cornejo Villavicencio has unmatched access to their stories. Her work culminates in a stunning, essential read for our times. Born in Ecuador and brought to the United States when she was five years old, Cornejo Villavicencio has lived the American Dream. Raised on her father's deliveryman income, she later became one of the first undocumented students admitted into Harvard. She is now a doctoral candidate at Yale University and has written for The New York Times. She weaves her own story among those of the eleven million undocumented who have been thrust into the national conversation today as never before. Looking well beyond the flashpoints of the border or the activism of the DREAMERS, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented as rarely seen in our daily headlines. In New York, we meet the undocumented workers who were recruited in the federally funded Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11. In Miami we enter the hidden botanicas, which offer witchcraft and homeopathy to those whose status blocks them from any other healthcare options. In Flint, Michigan, we witness how many live in fear as the government issues raids at grocery stores and demands identification before offering life-saving clean water. In her book, Undocumented America, Cornejo Villavicencio powerfully reveals the hidden corners of our nation of immigrants. She brings to light remarkable stories of hope and resilience, and through them we come to understand what it truly means to be American"– provided by publisher.

D
Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Life in Contemporary Palestine
Di Cintio, Marcello. Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Life in Contemporary Palestine. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A look at life in contemporary Palestine through the lens of its literary culture Marcello Di Cintio first visited Palestine in 1999 and, like most outsiders, the Palestinian narrative he knew was one defined by unending struggle, a near-Sisyphean curse of stories of oppression, exile, and occupation told over and over again. In the summer of 2014, during a brief lull in the bombing from Israel's Operation Protective Edge, photos emerged of a young Gazan girl in a green dress sifting through the rubble of her destroyed home. She was looking for her books. In Pay No Heed to the Rockets, Di Cintio travels to Palestine to find the girl. Using the form of a political-literary travelogue, he explores what literature means to modern Palestinians and how Palestinians make sense of the conflict between a rich imaginative life and the daily violence of survival. Taking the long route through the West Bank, into Jerusalem, across Israel and finally into Gaza, he meets with poets, authors, librarians, and booksellers to learn about Palestine through their eyes, and through the story of their stories. Di Cintio travels through the rich cultural and literary heritage of Palestine. It's there that he uncovers a humanity, and a beauty, often unnoticed by news media. At the seventieth anniversary of the Arab-Israeli War, Pay No Heed to the Rockets tells a fresh story about Palestine, one that begins with art rather than war"–Provided by publisher.
The Girl in the Photograph: The True Story of a Native American Child, Lost and Found in America
Dorgan, Byron L. The Girl in the Photograph: The True Story of a Native American Child, Lost and Found in America. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Through the story of Tamara, an abused Native American girl, North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan tells the story of the many children living on Indian reservations. On a winter morning in 1990, Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota picked up the Bismarck Tribune. On the front page, a small girl gazed into the distance, shedding a tear. The headline: "Foster home children beaten–and nobody's helping". Dorgan, who had been working with American Indian tribes to secure resources, was distressed. He flew to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to meet with five-year-old Tamara and her grandfather. They became friends. Then she disappeared. And he would search for her for decades until they finally found each other again. This book is her story, from childhood to the present, but it's also the story of a people and a nation. More than one in three American Indian/Alaskan Native children live in poverty. AI/AN children are disproportionately in foster care and awaiting adoption. Suicide among AI/AN youth ages 15 to 24 is 2.5 times the national rate. How have we allowed this to happen? As distressing a situation as it is, this is also a story of hope and resilience. Dorgan, who founded the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, has worked tirelessly to bring Native youth voices to the forefront of policy discussions, engage Native youth in leadership and advocacy, and secure and share resources for Native youth. Readers will fall in love with this heartbreaking story, but end the book knowing what can be done and what they can do"– provided by publisher.
Never Caught : The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
Dunbar, Erica Armstrong. Never Caught : The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction A startling and eye-opening look into America's First Family, Never Caught is the powerful story about a daring woman of "extraordinary grit" (The Philadelphia Inquirer). When George Washington was elected president, he reluctantly left behind his beloved Mount Vernon to serve in Philadelphia, the temporary seat of the nation's capital. In setting up his household he brought along nine slaves, including Ona Judge. As the President grew accustomed to Northern ways, there was one change he couldn't abide: Pennsylvania law required enslaved people be set free after six months of residency in the state. Rather than comply, Washington decided to circumvent the law. Every six months he sent the slaves back down south just as the clock was about to expire. Though Ona Judge lived a life of relative comfort, she was denied freedom. So, when the opportunity presented itself one clear and pleasant spring day in Philadelphia, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Yet freedom would not come without its costs. At just twenty-two-years-old, Ona became the subject of an intense manhunt led by George Washington, who used his political and personal contacts to recapture his property. "A crisp and compulsively readable feat of research and storytelling" (USA TODAY), historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar weaves a powerful tale and offers fascinating new scholarship on how one young woman risked everything to gain freedom from the famous founding father."
E
After Combat: True War Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan
Eide, Marian, and Michael Gibler. After Combat: True War Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan. Lincoln: Potomac Books, 2018. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"Approximately 2.5 million men and women have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the service of the U.S. War on Terror. Marian Eide and Michael Gibler have collected and compiled personal combat accounts from some of these war veterans. In modern warfare no deployment meets the expectations laid down by stories of Appomattox, Ypres, Iwo Jima, or Tet. Stuck behind a desk or the wheel of a truck, many of today’s veterans feel they haven’t even been to war though they may have listened to mortars in the night or dodged improvised explosive devices during the day. When a drone is needed to verify a target’s death or bullets are sprayed like grass seed, military offensives can lack the immediacy that comes with direct contact.

After Combat bridges the gap between sensationalized media and reality by telling war’s unvarnished stories. Participating soldiers, sailors, marines, and air force personnel (retired, on leave, or at the beginning of military careers) describe combat in the ways they believe it should be understood. In this collection of interviews, veterans speak anonymously with pride about their own strengths and accomplishments, with gratitude for friendships and adventures, and also with shame, regret, and grief, while braving controversy, misunderstanding, and sanction."
Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance
Estes, Nick. Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance. London, New York: Verso, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"In 2016, a small protest encampment at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, initially established to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, grew to be the largest Indigenous protest movement in the twenty-first century, attracting tens of thousands of Indigenous and non-Native allies from around the world. Its slogan "Mni Wiconi"–Water is Life–was about more than just a pipeline. Water Protectors knew this battle for Native sovereignty had already been fought many times before, and that, even after the encampment was gone, their anti-colonial struggle would continue. In Our History is the Future, Nick Estes traces traditions of Indigenous resistance leading to the \#NoDAPL movement from the days of the Missouri River trading forts through the Indian Wars, the Pick-Sloan dams, the American Indian Movement, and the campaign for Indigenous rights at the United Nations. While a historian by trade, Estes also draws on observations from the encampments and from growing up as a citizen of the Oceti Sakowin (the Nation of the Seven Council Fires), making Our History is the Future at once a work of history, a personal story, and a manifesto"– provided by publisher.

F
The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle
Faderman, Lillian. The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
A chronicle of the modern struggle for gay, lesbian and transgender rights draws on interviews with politicians, military figures, legal activists and members of the LGBT community to document the cause's struggles since the 1950s.
The Antiracist: How to Start the Conversation about Race and Take Action
Fidel, Kondwani. The Antiracist: How to Start the Conversation about Race and Take Action. New York: Hot Books, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"What would happen if people started moving beyond the conversation and took action to combat racism? We are in an era where many Americans express the sentiment, "I thought we were past that," when a public demonstration of racism comes across their radar. Long before violence committed by police was routinely displayed on jumbotrons publicizing viral executions, the Black community has continually tasted the blood from having police boots in their mouths, ribs, and necks. The widespread circulation of racial injustices is the barefaced truth hunting us down, forcing us to confront the harsh reality–we haven't made nearly as much racial progress as we thought. The Antiracist: How to Start the Conversation about Race and Take Action, will compel readers to focus on the degree in which they have previously, or are currently contributing to the racial inequalities in this country (knowingly or unknowingly), and ways they can become stronger in their activism. The Antiracist is an explosive indictment on injustice, highlighted by Kondwani Fidel, a rising young literary talent, who offers a glimpse into not only the survival required of one born in a city like Baltimore, but how we can move forward to tackle violent murders, police brutality, and poverty. Throughout it all, he pursued his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts from the University of Baltimore, while being deeply immersed in his community–helping combat racism in schools by getting students to understand the importance of literacy and critical thinking. With his gift for storytelling, he measures the pulse of injustice, which is the heartbeat of this country." – From Amazon.
Thank You for Your Service
Finkel, David. Thank You for Your Service. 1st ed. New York: Sarah Crichton Books/ Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
 "From a MacArthur Fellow and the author of The Good Soldiers, a profound look at life after war No journalist has reckoned with the psychology of war as intimately as David Finkel. In The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel shadowed the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion as they carried out the infamous surge, a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed all of them forever. Now Finkel has followed many of those same men as they've returned home and struggled to reintegrate--both into their family lives and into American society at large. In the ironically named Thank You for Your Service, Finkel writes with tremendous compassion not just about the soldiers but about their wives and children. Where do soldiers belong after their homecoming? Is it possible, or even reasonable, to expect them to rejoin their communities as if nothing has happened? And in moments of hardship, who are soldiers expected to turn to if they feel alienated by the world they once lived in? These are the questions Finkel faces as he revisits the brave but shaken men of the 2-16. More than a work of journalism, Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding--shocking but always riveting, unflinching but deeply humane, it takes us inside the heads of those who must live the rest of their lives with the chilling realities of war"-- Provided by publisher.

"Finkel, a journalist, follows the soldiers who serve in the Iraq War as they struggle to reintegrate into American society"-- Provided by publisher.

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