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Here We Are
Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares | Aarti Namdev Shahani
6 posts | 4 read | 5 to read
A heartfelt memoir of the immigrant experience from NPR Silicon Valley correspondent Aarti Shahani. After arriving in New York City in the 1980s, the Shahani family opens a small electronics store. Aarti, their youngest child, wins a scholarship to one of Manhattans most elite prep schools. They are well on their way to the American Dream, until their fortunes turn. When they mistakenly sell watches and calculators to the wrong peoplemembers of the Cali drug cartelthe family gets caught in a legal case that destroys them, incrementally, over the course of 15 years. Here We Are is the hearing the Shahani family never had, despite all the time they spent being judged. Aartis father never recovers from the humiliation. And she, who has the chance to leave and live a better life, forever feels singularly defined by his (and their) crisis. Shes torn between moving on and looking back. This family saga is full of colorful characters: a feisty mom wholl take sewing shears to anyone who threatens her blood; a big brother, caught between the Old World and New, who agrees to an arranged marriage; a big sister who refuses to lose her sense of humor, even in the notorious jail Rikers Island. As we follow the Shahanis' extreme ups and downs, Here We Are becomes a fascinating insider account of the elusive nature of legality and of the deep schism in American culture by which the deserving are deified and the undeserving demonized, at times relentlessly. Ultimately, Here We Are is a coming-of-age story, a love letter from an outspoken modern daughter to her soft-spoken Old World father. She never expected theyd become best friends.
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MallenNC
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I‘m probably not going to finish another nonfiction book this week so here‘s my #NFNov bingo card. This was a fun month of reading. Here‘s what I read:

True Crime: The Less People Know About Us
Children‘s Picture Book: Separate is Never Equal
Free Space: Here We Are
Culture: The Witches Are Coming
Suggested By a Friend: Shout
Audiobook: Invisible Women
Released this year: Acid for the Children

Clwojick woohoo! an additional 10 pts for the BINGO 2mo
23 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

I am so glad I read this. Shahani told her family‘s story in an engaging and emotionally honest way. It was eye-opening to me and I thought I was pretty informed about immigration issues. Most of all her love for her father comes through. I cried at the end. #NFNov

Clwojick 6pt 2mo
26 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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I love NPR & get so many book recommendations by listening. This memoir is by a correspondent about her own family‘s immigration story. It‘s the first book I‘ve started for Nonfiction November. #NFNov

rsteve388 1 pt! Enjoy I love NPR recommendations. 3mo
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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

Here We Are is a powerful and heartbreaking, yet honest and hopeful memoir about the Shahani family. I truly feel that if people read this memoir we may have more compassion for immigrants and migrants. It gives a voice to not just the Shahani family, but immigrants and migrants throughout this country. The strength and resiliency of the Shahani family is admirable and inspiring, as well as the love they have for each other and others.

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MonikaSadowski
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I loved this book so much and it made me very emotional because I am immigrant myself. I came to this country when I was 24 years old. My parents struggled the same way that Aarti parents did. But because of this whole experience we became stronger people. Very well written memoir by #aartinamdevshahani, I could feel the strong connection between Aarti and her father, and other members of the family.#hereweare #fivestarbook #celadonbooks

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The_Real_Nani
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So well-written, so heartbreaking. Highly recommend this insight into what it means to be an immigrant in America.