Every year, millions of people move to a new country. From war refugees to corporate expats, migrants constantly reshape their places of origin and arrival. Arranged into four parts (Departures, Arrivals, Generations, and Returns), The Penguin Book of Migration Literature ranges widely across centuries, continents, and literary genres. The volume brings together such luminaries as foreword author, National Book Award finalist and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Edwidge Danticat, Zadie Smith, Marjane Satrapi, and Salman Rushdie, along with emerging writers like Warsan Shire and Deepak Unnikrishnan. The first global anthology on migration gives readers a unique a visceral understanding of our rapidly changing world, through the eyes of those at the center of that change.
Volume editor Dohra Ahmad, cover artist Matt Huynh and Penguin Classics Publisher Elda Rotor will discuss the book and themes of migration and borders in art and storytelling. The discussion will be followed by a Penguin Classics #migrationstories postcard-writing party. Attendees are invited to share the migration stories that have shaped their lives and mail the postcards to their elected officials or anyone else they feel needs to hear this message. Postcards, pens, stamps and recommended addresses of elected officials will be provided.
Dohra Ahmad is professor of English at St. John’s University. She is the author of Landscapes of Hope: Anti-Colonial Utopianism in America (2009) and editor of Rotten English: A Literary Anthology (2007). She’s also written the introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of The Housing Lark (January 14, 2020).
Elda Rotor is Vice President and Publisher of Penguin Classics. She oversees the U.S. editorial program including the works of John Steinbeck, Arthur Miller, Shirley Jackson, William Golding, Amy Tan, and the Pelican Shakespeare series. She has created and edited several series including the Penguin Orange Collection, Penguin Civic Classics, the Penguin Drop Caps, and the forthcoming Penguin Vitae. She is a board member for the Academy of American Poets and Kundiman, a national organization dedicated to Asian American creative writing.
Matt Huynh is a Sydney born, New York based visual artist and storyteller. His bold brush and ink paintings are informed by calligraphic Eastern sumi-e ink traditions, the mechanical reproduction of popular Western comic books, and their limitations. Huynh's work combines familiar traditional sumi-e painting techniques with found perishable objects repurposed for unpredictable mark-making. His illustrated essays, comics and animations interrogate the vast impression of war, with a particular focus on amplifying diasporic voices, telling refugee narratives and the experiences of asylum seekers and migrant communities. Huynh's paintings, comics and murals have been exhibited by the MoMA, The Smithsonian, The Sydney Opera House, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Academy of Music and New York Historical Society.