Concepcion: An Immigrant Family's Fortunes, Export Edition (Paperback)

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9780593421222

A journalist's powerful and incisive account of the forces steering the fate of his sprawling Filipino American family reframes how we comprehend the immigrant experience

Nearing the age at which his mother had migrated to the US, part of the wave of non-Europeans who arrived after immigration quotas were relaxed in 1965, Albert Samaha began to question the ironclad belief in a better future that had inspired her family to uproot themselves from their birthplace. As she, her brother Spanky—a rising pop star back in Manila, now working as a luggage handler at San Francisco airport—and others of their generation struggled with setbacks amid mounting instability that seemed to keep prosperity ever out of reach, he wondered whether their decision to abandon a middle-class existence in the Philippines had been worth the cost.

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A journalist's powerful and incisive account of the forces steering the fate of his sprawling Filipino American family reframes how we comprehend the immigrant experience

Nearing the age at which his mother had migrated to the US, part of the wave of non-Europeans who arrived after immigration quotas were relaxed in 1965, Albert Samaha began to question the ironclad belief in a better future that had inspired her family to uproot themselves from their birthplace. As she, her brother Spanky—a rising pop star back in Manila, now working as a luggage handler at San Francisco airport—and others of their generation struggled with setbacks amid mounting instability that seemed to keep prosperity ever out of reach, he wondered whether their decision to abandon a middle-class existence in the Philippines had been worth the cost.

Tracing his family’s history through the region’s unique geopolitical roots in Spanish colonialism, American intervention, and Japanese occupation, Samaha fits their arc into the wider story of global migration as determined by chess moves among superpowers. Ambitious, intimate, and incisive, Concepcion explores what it might mean to reckon with the unjust legacy of imperialism, to live with contradiction and hope, to fight for the unrealized ideals of an inherited homeland.

More Information
ISBN 9780593421222
Length (cm) 15.0000
Width (cm) 3.0000
Height (cm) 23.0000
Publisher Riverhead Books
Publication Date Oct 12, 2021
Pages (number) 400
Genre Biographies and Memoirs
Author Albert Samaha
Signed No
Format Paperback
Editorial Reviews

“If Concepcion were only about Samaha’s mother, it would already be wholly worthwhile. But she was one of eight children in the Concepcion family, whose ancestry Samaha traces in this. . . powerful book.” – The New York Times

“At the bighearted center of Concepcion is Samaha’s desire ‘to honor my elders.' . . . He succeeds ably, putting a human face and history on a. . . community largely left out of the Asian American canon and U.S. literature generally.” – The New York Times Book Review

“Extraordinary . . . an evocative window into global issues of immigration and American imperialism. . . . [and] an extraordinary look at the freedoms and perils of making a new life in America.” – Publishers Weekly (starred)

“An expansive view of Filipino history and the experiences of Filipino immigrants . . . that provides an intimate perspective on the legacy of colonialism.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred)

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