Finding American: Stories of Immigration from the 50 States, the book, is set to be released in 2022.
It is the culmination of a project started in 2017, when I began traveling more than 50,000 miles, over the course of nine months on the road, to document more than 200 individual stories from all 50 states. The result is a nuanced, empathetic, and striking portrait of the lives of immigrants in the United States today.
My goal in this project is to share the complexity of the immigration experience in America with sensitivity and thoughtfulness. Stories about immigrants too often focus on the extremes: the “immigrant as hero” or “immigrant as villain” narratives. To counter this transactional idea of immigration, Finding American shares personal stories—of challenges and achievements —carefully, compassionately, and on each participant’s own terms. When highly charged and complex socio-political issues are approached in this way, the result is a thoughtful and engaging portrayal of individuals and issues— as well as more compelling art. My hope is this collection may help immigrants find an increased sense of belonging, and encourage Americans who don’t see themselves as immigrants to ask profound questions about their own familial connection to migration.