INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
From award-winning actress and political activist America Ferrera comes a vibrant and varied collection of first-person accounts from prominent figures about the experience of growing up between cultures.
America Ferrera has always felt wholly American, and yet, her identity is inextricably linked to her parents’ homeland and Honduran culture. Speaking Spanish at home, having Saturday-morning-salsa-dance-parties in the kitchen, and eating tamales alongside apple pie at Christmas never seemed at odds with her American identity.
Still, she yearned to see that identity reflected in the larger American narrative.
Now, in American Like Me, America invites thirty-one of her friends, peers, and heroes to share their stories about life between cultures. We know them as actors, comedians, athletes, politicians, artists, and writers. However, they are also immigrants, children or grandchildren of immigrants, indigenous people, or people who otherwise grew up with deep and personal connections to more than one culture. Each of them struggled to establish a sense of self, find belonging, and feel seen. And they call themselves American enthusiastically, reluctantly, or not at all.
Ranging from the heartfelt to the hilarious, their stories shine a light on a quintessentially American experience and will appeal to anyone with a complicated relationship to family, culture, and growing up.
Ferrera, known for playing the title character on the sitcom Ugly Betty, opens this essay collection with a conversational and honest account of growing up with conflicting messages as the American-born child of immigrant parents. It's a theme that runs throughout the following pieces, which are brief snapshots of those moments in which 32 actors, politicians, writers, athletes, filmmakers, musicians, and activists recognized how they occupied a space between different cultures. Parents feature heavily, including Randall Park's, whose backgrounds in Korea were a mystery to him until he interviewed them for his essay, and Geena Rocero's "trans mother figure for two of the most important years of my life," Tigerlily, who shepherded her through beauty pageants in the Philippines and inspired her to continue to "sashay" the pageant stage in the U.S. Some of these celebrities are not great writers, but their pieces still evoke strong emotions, and Ferrara sprinkles enough gifted storytellers among them to keep up the momentum. To name one example of a strong contributor, when Uzo Aduba writes about her high school graduation and asking her mom to wear the vibrant, traditional Nigerian clothes of her heritage, the effect is as dazzling and varied as this book as a whole.
Customer ReviewsSee All
America Ferrera’s book is amazing! I love how each individual is represented in every chapter. I can see myself walking through each person’s path and life journey. Thank you for representing this stories and giving us this gem. It brings me joy to see myself, a daughter of Honduran immigrants, represented in this book. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 🙂