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Summary

How does it feel to be constantly regarded as a potential threat, strip-searched at every airport? Or be told that as an actress, the part you're most fitted to play is 'wife of a terrorist'? How does it feel to have words from your native language misused, misappropriated and used aggressively towards you? How does it feel to hear a child of colour say in a classroom that stories can be only about white people? How does it feel to go 'home' to India when your home is really London? What is it like to feel you always have to be an ambassador for your race? How does it feel to always tick 'Other'?

Bringing together 21 exciting minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be 'other' in a country that doesn't seem to want you, doesn't truly accept you - however many generations you've been here - but still needs you for its diversity monitoring forms.

Inspired by discussion around why society appears to deem people of colour bad immigrants - job stealers, benefit scroungers, undeserving refugees - until, by winning Olympic races or baking good cakes or being conscientious doctors, they cross over and become good immigrants, editor Nikesh Shukla has compiled essays that are poignant, challenging, angry, humorous, heartbreaking, polemic, weary and - most importantly - real.

Track 1: 'Namaste' - Nikesh Shukla
Track 2: 'A Guide to Being Black' - Varaidzo
Track 3: 'My Name Is My Name' - Chimene Suleyman
Track 4: 'Yellow' - Vera Chok
Track 5: 'Kendo Nagasaki and Me' - Daniel York Loh
Track 6: 'Window of Opportunity' - Himesh Patel
Track 7: 'Is Nish Kumar a Confused Muslim?' - Nish Kumar
Track 8: 'Forming Blackness Through a Screen' - Reni Eddo-Lodge
Track 9: 'Beyond "Good" Immigrants' - Wei Ming Kam
Track 10: '"You Can't Say That! Stories Have to Be About White people"' - Darren Chetty
Track 11: 'On Going Home' - Kieran Yates
Track 12: 'Flags' - Coco Khan
Track 13: 'Cutting Through (on Black Barbershops and Masculinity)' - Inua Ellams
Track 14: 'Wearing Where You're At: Immigration and UK Fashion' - Sabrina Mahfouz
Track 15: 'Airports and Auditions' - Riz Ahmed
Track 16: 'Perpetuating Casteism' - Sarah Sahim
Track 17: 'Shade' - Salena Godden
Track 18: 'The Wife of a Terrorist' - Miss L
Track 19: 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Tokenism' - Bim Adewunmi
Track 20: 'Death Is a Many-Headed Monster' - Vinay Patel
Track 21: 'The Ungrateful Country' - Musa Okwonga.

Full list of narrators: Nikesh Shukla, Varaidzo, Chimene Suleyman, Vera Chok, Daniel York Loh, Himesh Patel, Nish Kumar, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Wei Ming Kam, Darren Chetty, Kieran Yates, Coco Khan, Inua Ellams, Sabrina Mahfouz, Riz Ahmed, Sarah Sahim, Salena Godden, Miss L, Bim Adewunmi, Vinay Patel and Musa Okwonga.

©2016 Nikesh Shukla (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

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Everything an Immigrant which they could say!

I loved it and will listen to it again. As an immigrant in the UK there are many things I am afraid to say or point out to my white friends about systemic racism in case they don't get it. This is a good book to recommend if you feel the way I do.

9 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Would you consider the audio edition of The Good Immigrant to be better than the print version?

Both versions, the printed one and the audio one are very good.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did have an emotional reaction to the book because they named things I felt before and could not point at. Now I feel more informed. Even though it is a tough read, it is worthy. Finally, minorities have a voice.

5 people found this helpful

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Overall a great read / listen

The first story is the best, in my opinion. However, this book really is a patchwork of wonderful stories and one I will listen to several times as I'm sure I missed a few good nuggets the first time I listen. It is educational as well as an insight into life as an immigrant or child of immigrants.

4 people found this helpful

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Engaging, heart felt, touching

A mind opening work shading light on several forms of institutional racism. The personal short stories, read by the authors themselves, were engaging and allowed me to connect deeper with their challenges, feelings and experiences. As a white woman I couldn't help feel anger and sadness at the injustices non-white people are exposed to. The diversity of accents and changes in tempo are refreshing and made listening to this book extra interesting. Highly recommend it!

4 people found this helpful

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Fascinating read

I would recommend that everybody should read this book. I chose it for my book club. I learnt a lot.
Empathy with other people in all sorts of situations can be tricky and these essays explain just how people feel so you can try to understand. So you can know albeit briefly what it's like to stand in their shoes. I was most struck by the last one and found it profoundly moving.

4 people found this helpful

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EVERYTHING

this book is everything!! blown away. so so impressed. this book opened my eyes to many things. as a person of colour it really spoke to me. it should be on the school curriculum. everyone needs to hear what these people have to say

3 people found this helpful

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Voices worth listening to

Each essay being read by the author helped bring it to life. Great selection of writers, sharing quite intimate stories. It benefitted from specifity, a wide spectrum of emotions explored with a light touch, literary prowess and a sense of humour. Personally, I was glad to hear contemporary British experiences rather than historical or American, which for me added to it feeling fresh and relevant. I think I'll listen to it again

3 people found this helpful

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meh.

I liked the concept but I found it challenging to get an ear around all the different writing styles and pace. Found the stories well written but there wasn't anything expressed that hadn't been written before. I feel I'm being harsh on the writers here but I guess the story of racism is (as one of the writers said) just boring now, especially when I've grown up as a second gen Black Brit .

2 people found this helpful

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A must read

an Incredible collection of personal stories each told in a unique style and beautiful manner.

2 people found this helpful

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Well written, balanced, enlightening

As a child of immigrants, I found it heartening (angering at times!) and ultimately informative.

2 people found this helpful

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  • emmagenevieve
  • 28-05-17

The most vital audiobook I've heard this year

The Good Immigrant is absolutely essential listening for anyone interested in what it means to be a human in the 21st century (or any century). It's a collection of essays by BAME writers living and working in Britain, but the stories are universal. Some of the essays are funny, others poignant, some shocking, others heartbreaking. All are interesting. It was wonderful hearing each author read their own essay; what a wonderful testament to the diverse talent of writers, thinkers, actors and educators in Britain today. I learnt a lot and it made me think. So very highly recommended; I listen to a lot of audiobooks but this is the best this year so far. I tore through it in two days, but I'm going to go back and listen to it again.