10 influential authors who came to the US as immigrants
"Give me your tired, your poor,/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" â€“ from "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, engraved on a plaque on Ellis Island
Though not born on American soil, these 10 authors all became United States citizens. Some were pushed here by political forces, some came for job opportunities, but each brought a new thread to the American tapestry. Today, as the US Congress struggles with the issue of immigration reform, seems an opportune moment to remember the contributions that this talented group has made to American literature and culture.
1. Khaled Hosseini
Khaled Hosseini was born in Afghanistan, moved to Paris, and became a US citizen following the Russian invasion of his native country in 1980. His 2003 novel "The Kite Runner" was on The New York Times bestseller list for over a year. Hosseini's work tends to focus on family, violence, and the greater forces that shape personal lives. "The Kite Runner," about the life of a young Afghani refugee who must confront his traumatic childhood as an adult, was adapted into a movie in 2007. The movie rights have been bought to his second novel, "A Thousand Splendid Suns."
His third book, "And the Mountains Echoed" is due out in May of this year.
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