S5 Ep. 43: Forging Immigrant Identity in Florida: Jonathan Escoffery Talks About How Belonging Shifts Across Generations

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Award-winning author Jonathan Escoffery joins Fiction/Non/Fiction hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell to discuss the complexity of immigrant communities in Florida. Escoffery talks about children of immigrants who fall into a middle space, unable to identify fully with their parents’ country or the one in which they grew up. He also speaks about generational and emotional gaps between his Jamaican American characters, explains why some Florida immigrants’ history and interests might make them lean conservative, and analyzes how fiction can succeed where politicians often fail: in understanding subtlety, nuance, and difference. Finally, he reflects on the political ramifications of categorizing or othering recent immigrants and their families, and reads from his National Book Award-nominated linked story collection, If I Survive You.

To hear the full episode, subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. Check out video versions of our interviews on the Fiction/Non/Fiction Instagram account, the Fiction/Non/Fiction YouTube Channel, and our show website: https://www.fnfpodcast.net/.

This podcast is produced by Anne Kniggendorf.

Selected Readings:

Jonathan Escoffery

Others:

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