„Dear America: Memoir of an Undocumented Citizen“ by Jose Antonio Vargas is a deeply introspective story of one man’s journey through the complexities of national identity as an undocumented immigrant in the United States. Reading this book, readers will dive into the importance of national identity for every human being and how Vargas’s memoir offers valuable insights into the topic.
Jose Antonio Vargas, born in the Philippines, raised in the U.S. is a journalist and the founder of “Define American”, organization of immigration rights activists.
Dear America, Notes of an undocumented citizen, is his autobiography. It was published in the year 2018, during Tramp’s administration, which was known as highly oriented towards lowering the number of immigrants in the USA.
This is not a book about Mormonism. This is not a book about extreme American life. This is not a book about living in a dysfunctional family. This is not a book about facing mental and physical violence and economic dependence. This is a book about a young woman who got over all these things, who became educated and made her new life − a book about almost everything.
„Educated” is a memoir by Tara Westover, a young American scientist. She was the youngest of seven children in an isolated family in Idaho. The kids didn’t have birth certificates and didn’t go to school. You can’t be a person without a birthday, said her grandmother, but Tara’s parents didn’t see the problem in living behind the modern world. Tara considered her family as a pack of wolves, or human beings who roam the mountain like savages because they were separated from civilization.
In the novel, we will read about the efforts of a girl to overcome her difficult childhood in Idaho and save herself from the fundamentalism of her family. The first part of the novel brings us the story from the perspective of a girl who is raised by religious fanatics. Her life takes place in the rural part of the USA, the economic and social periphery of the most powerful country in the world. We are presented with the characters of the desperate and the poor, who, in addition to the initial empathy, cause the readers to be appalled by their brutality and superstition. On the literary pages in front of us, it’s as if Lars von Trier’s heroes from Dogville come to life. The main character in the novel – Tara, was born into one such family.
In her compelling memoir „Educated,“ Tara Westover transports us to a world that is seemingly removed from the pinnacles of civilization. This world exists not on a distant continent but within the heart of the United States, a nation synonymous with progress and enlightenment. Westover’s childhood tale, characterized by ignorance and estrangement, proffers a vivid illustration of a life lived at the fringe of modernity. This unique portrayal incites a profound examination of our understanding of modern civilization, its outreach, and the psychological and philosophical repercussions of existing within its periphery. To dissect these complex dimensions, we shall lean on the theoretical frameworks provided by prominent thinkers Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida.
“When you haven’t had enough to eat, when your electricity and heat are cut off, you’re not afraid when someone says life is going to be hard. The fear factor was minimised for me. I already knew fear. My dreams were bigger than the fear.“
Born and growing up in Rhode Island in poverty, with parents and grand and great grandparents who also lived in poverty, with her ancestors who were slaves, what was a chance for the little girl to run away, overcome trauma and succeed in life? Well, impossible or minor She was living with siblings in constant fear that her abusive father, an alcoholic, would have killed their mother.