Streams

Albania, America

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Francine Prose, essayist and author of My New American Life: A Novel, talks about her new novel about a young Albanian woman seeking a new life in post 9/11 New York.

Events: Francine Prose will be reading at Greenlight Bookstore on Friday, May 20th, at 7:30pm.  She will also be interviewed by Leonard Lopate, in addition to reading from her new novel, at the Brooklyn Public Library on Saturday, May 21st at 4:00pm.

Guests:

Francine Prose
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Comments [3]

From Brooklyn

Immigrants, particularly undocumented immigrants, face disrespect and injustice everywhere and everyday in New York and in the US.

Having said that (and even experienced that on occasion), it is inappropriate for Ms. Prose to give the impression that undocumented immigrants have absolutely no rights and no recourse and - in essence - suggesting that those who are willing to stand up to injustice to be foolish, like the complaining witness against DSK ( something to the effect of "I just pray that she is legal.")

In fact if the complaining witness is willing to cooperate, she may very well be entitled to get a "U" visa for cooperating with law enforcement, something immigrants and advocate fought hard for, to stay in the US if in fact she is currently without immigration status (an knee jerk assumption that we often make about Latino and African immigrants) and is willing to continue to cooperate with the authorities.

Finally Ms. Prose provides the example of the undocumented "busboy" who went to fix a parking ticket and then was deported. I do not doubt that Ms. Prose in fact knew of someone in that situation.

At the same time, I also know of hundreds of undocumented workers who were able to receive their wages after they complained to authorities about being stiffed of their wages.

At bottom, we should be encouraging and supporting these immigrants rather than subtly undermining their efforts, all in the name of dramatic license.

May. 19 2011 07:43 PM
Alan from Manhattan

Many years ago, I happened upon the article on Albania in volume 1 of the Illustrated World Encyclopedia, which was being offered for10 cents (an introductory offer) at a supermarket. It has remained a treasured possession ever since. Here's why:

"In 1946 Albania got a Communist government and after that no one could find out much about what goes on there, but no one ever did know much about what went on in Albania."

May. 19 2011 11:27 AM
Suzanna from Baruch College

As an adjunct in the English department of Baruch College, I remember when Francine Prose was here, and I thank her for complimenting our hard working students.

May. 19 2011 11:22 AM

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