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Monday, 12 November 2007

"You can go home again"

The immigrant experience, it's been noted, is no longer what it once was. When immigrants who came to the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries left their homelands, they left them forever....

Things are different in the jet age. Now you can go home again, and the trail of immigration has become a two-way street. Assimilation is less certain, involvement with the homeland more intimate and more fraught. Even after a generation or more, families can remain suspended between two places, two languages and the claims of two discordant histories. All this is especially true of immigrants from the Caribbean basin, whose lands are so close, and whose status and plans are so often unclear.

-- From a review of Junot Díaz's novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by William Deresiewicz, in The Nation. (Thanks to Antilles reader Matthew Hunte for the link.)

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