The Lit Club

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The Lit Club by NAE is a book club and living resource focused on literary works shedding light on the immigrant experience in its many forms. The goal is to introduce participants to a new and wide range of immigrant stories, exploring the variety of lived experiences.

We will announce Lit Club special selections, and invite you to read along with us. At the end of each book cycle, which will last 30-45 days, we will host a live discussion between the immigrant author and a very special moderator.

We have already compiled many great book recommendations, but we need your help. To submit your own NAE Lit Club book recommendation, please use this Google Form. These recommendations should all focus on the immigrant experience.

Sign up for our email updates to learn about upcoming Lit Club events!

Books standing up on their ends

Lit Club Special Selection

House of Sticks cover art
House of Sticks by Ly Tran

An intimate, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir recounting a young girl’s journey from war-torn Vietnam to Ridgewood, Queens, and her struggle to find her voice amid clashing cultural expectations.

Ly Tran is just a toddler in 1993 when she and her family immigrate from a small town along the Mekong river in Vietnam to a two-bedroom railroad apartment in Queens. Ly’s father, a former lieutenant in the South Vietnamese army, spent nearly a decade as a POW, and their resettlement is made possible through a humanitarian program run by the US government. Soon after they arrive, Ly joins her parents and three older brothers sewing ties and cummerbunds piece-meal on their living room floor to make ends meet.

As they navigate this new landscape, Ly finds herself torn between two worlds. She knows she must honor her parents’ Buddhist faith and contribute to the family livelihood, working long hours at home and eventually as a manicurist alongside her mother at a nail salon in Brownsville, Brooklyn, that her parents take over. But at school, Ly feels the mounting pressure...More

About The Author

Ly Tran smiling Ly Tran

Ly Tran graduated from Columbia University in 2014 with a degree in Creative Writing and Linguistics. She has received fellowships from MacDowell, Art Omi, and Yaddo. House of Sticks is her first book.

Past Special Selections

April 2021

A Beginner’s Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious

by Roya Hakakian Click here to see our video discussion. image/svg+xml
May 2021

Things We Lost to the Water

by Eric Nguyen Click here to see our video discussion. image/svg+xml
July 2021

House of Sticks

by Ly Tran Click here to see our video discussion. image/svg+xml

The selection of a book for this resource is not an endorsement of its content. We are committed to presenting as holistic a view of the immigration experience as possible.

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…