Title: Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares
Author: Aarti Shahani
Publisher: Celadon Books
ISBN: 978-1-250-20475-2
On Sale Date: 10/01/2019
Formats: Hardcover, Ebook

A heartfelt memoir about the immigrant experience from NPR Correspondent Aarti Shahani.

Who really belongs in America? That question has chased every newcomer and many native born since the founding of the republic. In this heart-wrenching, vulnerable and witty memoir, journalist Aarti Shahani digs deep inside herself and her family for an answer—one that she finds in an unlikely place.

The Shahanis came to Queens—from India, by way of Casablanca—in the 1980s. They were undocumented for a few years and then, with the arrival of their green cards, they thought they’d made it. This memoir is the story of how they did, and didn’t.

Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares follows the lives of Aarti, the precocious scholarship kid at one of Manhattan’s most elite prep schools, and her dad, the shopkeeper who mistakenly sells watches and calculators to the notorious Cali drug cartel. Together, the two represent the extremes that coexist in our country, even within a single family, and a truth about immigrants that gets lost in the headlines. It isn’t a matter of good or evil; it’s complicated.

Ultimately, Here We Are is a coming-of-age story, a love letter from an outspoken modern daughter to her soft-spoken Old World father. She never expected they’d become best friends.

  • Aarti Shahani
    Aarti Shahani

    Aarti Shahani is a Technology Correspondent for NPR based in Silicon Valley. She has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, and an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award. Before journalism, she was a community organizer in New York City, helping prisoners and families facing deportation. She authored a study of immigrants inside Rikers Island that became pivotal to a successful campaign to sever ties between the jail and the Department of Homeland Security and shape the national sanctuary cities movement. Her activism was honored by the Union Square Awards and Legal Aid Society. Shahani received a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago. She was the youngest recipient of the Charles H. Revson Fellowship at Columbia University and is an alumna of A Better Chance, Inc. Shahani grew up in Flushing, Queens—in the most diverse zip code in the country—and believes every American should visit her hometown to understand what makes America great.

Start typing and press Enter to search