Straw Bag, Tin Box, Cloth Suitcase: Three Immigrant Voices (Paperback)
Three women, from three different continents and separated by generations, share stories of coming to the United States. Sarah's great-great grandmother Manya fled the Cossacks in the Ukraine at the turn of the twentieth century. Grace's mom escaped with her family during the Iranian revolution in 1979. Raquel and her family fled gang violence in El Salvador in the 2010s. These three stories, all accounts of the authors' real family stories--Manya is legendary author Jane Yolen's grandmother--highlight the essential commonality of the immigrant experience.
Jane Yolen is the author of over 400 books for children. She has won numerous awards, including a lifetime achievement award from the Association of Jewish Libraries and the Caldecott Medal. Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates for her body of work, so-she jokingly says-you could call her Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Yolen though she can't set a leg. Marjorie Lotfi is an Iranian-American who has lived in the UK for over 20 years. Her first collection of poetry, The Wrong Person to Ask, was published in 2023. Marjorie is a Founder and Director of Open Book, a charity that supports over 1200 reading and creative writing sessions each year across Scotland, including in prisons, shelters, and with refugee and migrant groups. In her spare time, Marjorie is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival, and an editor of New Writing Scotland. Raquel Elizabeth Artiga de Paz emigrated from El Salvador to Massachusetts. Raquel is learning English, working as a caretaker with people in their own homes, and singing in a chorus. She and Jane Yolen met at the Center for New Americans and with the help of translator Laurie Millman (head of the Center), they worked on her part of this book together.