Featured Book: This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto by Suketu Mehta

Reading Time: 2 minutes

An impassioned defence of global immigration from the acclaimed author of Maximum City.

Drawing on his family’s own experience emigrating from India to Britain and America, and years of reporting around the world, Suketu Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. The West, he argues, is being destroyed not by immigrants but by the fear of immigrants. He juxtaposes the phony narratives of populist ideologues with the ordinary heroism of labourers, nannies and others, from Dubai to New York, and explains why more people are on the move today than ever before. As civil strife and climate change reshape large parts of the planet, it is little surprise that borders have become so porous.

This Land is Our Land also stresses the destructive legacies of colonialism and global inequality on large swathes of the world. When today’s immigrants are asked, ‘Why are you here?’, they can justly respond, ‘We are here because you were there.’ And now that they are here, as Mehta demonstrates, immigrants bring great benefits, enabling countries and communities to flourish.

Impassioned, rigorous, and richly stocked with memorable stories and characters, This Land Is Our Land is a timely and necessary intervention, and literary polemic of the highest order

REVIEWS

“Suketu Mehta has written a burning indictment of anti-immigrant hypocrisy, and an affirmation of hope in the real America―the America where we treat each other as human beings with a common future, and not a faceless problem to be solved by walls and barbed wire. Rousing and immensely readable, it is an anthem for all of us.” ―Jhumpa Lahiri, author of The Lowland

“Written ‘in sorrow and anger,’ this is a brilliant and urgently necessary book, eloquently making the case against bigotry and for all of us migrants―what we are not, who we are, and why we deserve to be welcomed, not feared.” ―Salman Rushdie

“A powerful, passionate, angry, and hopeful cry for sanity and justice by one of our finest writers. Mehta’s heart-felt book is a much-needed and potent antidote to the anti-migrant rhetoric that has grown so threateningly loud of late. Let them come!” ―Mohsin Hamid, author of Exit West and The Reluctant Fundamentalist

“There are many mic-drop moments and eminently quotable lines . . . [This Land Is Our Land] is a blistering argument that earns its place in this emotional debate. In a news climate dominated by opponents of immigration, Mehta brings personal, postcolonial and global anguish to a broader American readership.” ―Bilal Qureshi, The Wall Street Journal

“[This Land Is Our Land] is a book shaped by the nuances of borders: of who crosses them and why, who drew them and what that set into motion . . . As narrator, [Mehta] emerges as comprehensively analytical and trenchant, full of pointed epigrams” ―Gaiutra Bahadur, The New Republic

“A meticulously researched and deeply felt corrective to the public narrative of who today’s migrants are, why they are coming, and what economic and historical forces have propelled them from their homes into faraway lands . . . This Land Is Our Land reads like an impassioned survey course on migration, laying bare the origins of mass migration in searing clarity . . . well argued, cathartic and abundantly sourced.” ―Lauren Markham, The New York Times Book Review