We the Interwoven: Immigration Stories from the American Heartland

January 17, 2021 - 2:00pm
Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

To join this virtual event, register here.

America is at a crossroads. In the great experiment of democracy, a time of reckoning has arrived. What does it mean to be an American today?  In a country created by immigrants, could our differences become a source of strength? From deep in the heartland, a view of American life through the eyes of our newest citizens may help us begin to answer these questions. We the Interwoven Volume 3 explores the experiences of Syrian-, Palestinian-, Sudanese-, Mexican, and Indian-Americans living in Iowa. From a young Syrian father escaping to America with his family to the first girl to wear the hijab in a Cedar Rapids high school to a Sudanese radio host who spoke her mind to the detriment of her safety, these powerful stories show rare and nuanced perspectives of how this place weaves together the lives of many. 

Featured writers: Eyad SaidDhuha TawilShalini JastiVanessa “Cueponi Cihuatl” Espinoza, George Khal, Hibbah Jarmakani, and Salma Salama. 

The panel will be moderated by the series editors, Andrea Wilson & Alisha Jeddeloh.

“These stories grabbed me from the first page, and each feels like a return to a particular urgent moment: home as it was, and as it receded. Honestly narrated, viscerally remembered, beautifully rendered, they are created by artists who understand both the storytelling traditions of home and the West. The result is something powerful, important, and effortlessly moving." —Dina Nayeri, author of The Ungrateful Refugee and Refuge

“The essays compiled in this book are a testament to the conjuring, soothing, and subversive power of words, and the essential service of memory to the public good. These writers ask the reader to look more closely at oft-overlooked objects and consider their true significance: a document is more than just a piece of paper; a meal more than just food on a plate; a wall both the seal of a house, but also a barricade of oppression. Individually, these are beautiful personal stories of migration and transformation. Together, they are an essential text of contemporary history and geopolitics that everyone should be so lucky to read.” —Lauren Markham, author of The Far Away Brothers