HOME Book Discussion Group: Dina Nayeri’s The Ungrateful Refugee

January 21, 2021 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm


Click here to download our reading guide.

Fee: Free.

Lynden and the HOME Refugee Steering Committee begin the new year by launching a book discussion group for those interested in firsthand accounts of displacement. We will consider works of non-fiction, including autobiographical and semi-autobiographical works, by writers who have faced or are facing forced displacement as refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants. Where stories of persecution, historical trauma, and loss of livelihood are effortlessly conveyed by storytellers, journalists, and humanitarians who search out or stumble upon the lives of refugees, we seek out the words of those to whom these stories belong: the narrators who are the closest to their own stories, and the stories of their people, friends, family and, of course, refugees.

We encourage you to read each book in advance (see information below on acquiring the current selection). Then join us for a virtual discussion moderated by Lynden’s Kim Khaira. We expect the group to meet bimonthly, and we will be seeking the input of group members on titles to consider in the future.

We begin the series with Dina Nayeri’s The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You. Dina Nayeri fled Iran at the age of eight with her mother and brother. Now, thirty years later, she reveals her own personal narrative as well as the stories of refugees she encounters as she revisits refugee camps and meets others who have fled their countries. She weaves these stories into her memoir, pushing the reader to define the differences between refugee and citizen, friendship and paternalism, truth-telling and storytelling and, in her own words, “charity and welcome.” A first, must-read for this book discussion group!

If you live in the Milwaukee County, support your public library by borrowing the book through their system https://mpl.org or find a local area library near you here: https://www.worldcat.org/libraries. If you would like to purchase the book, Boswell Books is offering it at a 10% discount to book group participants. The book can be purchased on the Boswell website here with the 10% book club discount already applied (through January 15). You can request sidewalk pick-up, which is free, or media mail ($4) or UPS ($10). Boswell, located at 2559 N. Downer Ave., is also open for limited browsing hours and the book is displayed to the right of the entrance among the book club selections. Please check Boswell’s website to confirm hours and delivery options.

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