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Our Stories Carried Us Here

Our Stories Carried Us Here

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Edited by Julie Vang, Tea Rozman and Tom Kaczynski. Published by Green Card Voices. 

Softcover, 216 pages, Colour and B&W, 2021. 

A bold and unconventional collection of first-person stories told and illustrated by immigrants and refugees living across the United States.

Stanford scientist, deaf student, indigenous activist, Black entrepreneur, DACA student—all immigrants and refugees—recount journeys from their home countries in ten vibrant and diverse illustrated stories. Faced by unfamiliar vistas, they are welcomed with possibilities, and confronted by challenges and prejudice. Our Stories Carried Us Here: A Graphic Novel Anthology surfaces the depth of storytelling that is authentic, unapologetic, and real with complex and difficult issues.

Timely, sobering, and insightful, Our Stories Carried Us Here acts as a mirror and a light to connect us all with immigrant and refugee experiences.

"Eleven storytellers chronicle their journeys from places all over the world—including Guatemala, Chad, Vietnam, and Kazakhstan—to the United States.

Each story compellingly details a variety of experiences the individual immigrant or refugee had, highlighting differences between stories that too often are lumped together or not given an opportunity to be heard. Each storyteller was paired with an illustrator from a similar linguistic and cultural heritage. The thoughtfulness of the matches shines through, as every panel authentically conveys the narrators’ poignant and emotional memories, highlighting the beauty of their homelands and the cultures they still identify with. The narratives show the struggles and triumphs of acclimating to a new language, culture, and worldview as well as dealing with obstacles like racism and microaggressions. Readers meet remarkable people like Zaynab Abdi from Yemen, whose story is illustrated by Egyptian American artist Ashraf El-Attar in stark black and white. Her harrowing journey was filled with sorrow and trauma yet, when she finally settled in Minnesota, she found purpose and opportunity through hard work and activism, speaking at the United Nations about girls’ education in Yemen. Each profile opens with brief biographies and photos or drawings of the storytellers and artists along with website URLs for learning more about them. Glossaries following many of the stories define potentially unfamiliar terms. The vibrant diversity of artistic styles offers pleasing variety within the unifying thematic framework of the volume.

Will strongly evoke both thought-provoking insights and empathy." (Graphic nonfiction. 12-16)

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