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Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices

Review

Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices

Around 13% of the population of the United States is comprised of immigrants. Almost one quarter of the children under the age of 17 have at least one parent that has moved to the United States from a different country. OPEN MIC: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices leads us through 10 different authors --- some old, some new --- as they navigate their own worlds. They all face difficult circumstances and have to overcome them. This collection of short stories, poems and comics captures what it feels like to grow up between two cultures. As Mitali Perkins said in the introduction, humor about race and ethnicity doesn’t always have to be mean. If we laugh with it and not at it, then humor can remove a lot of the tension that appears when talking about race.

"Whether you're growing up between cultures or if that is one perspective you have never had, this book is a great read for anyone interested in how ethnicity and race affect people every day."

Since my family also immigrated to the U.S, I found myself nodding my head in agreement with what the authors were saying. People, no matter how much they try not to, judge people before getting to know them. It’s human nature; we judge people the first few seconds we know them. However, that doesn’t mean that we have to let that judgment get in the way of getting to know the person. You can’t change human nature but you can overcome the restrictions put on you.

Several of the pieces in this anthology were funny and made me laugh out loud. There were also some very serious and somber stories that made you think and reflect. There were also different styles of personal accounts. There were stories, poems and even a comic. Whether you're growing up between cultures or if that is one perspective you have never had, this book is a great read for anyone interested in how ethnicity and race affect people every day.

Reviewed by Pranshu A. on September 16, 2013

Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices
by Mitali Perkins