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American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures (Hardcover)
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.
About the Author
America Ferrera is an award-winning actress, producer, director and activist. Ferrera is best known for her breakthrough role as Betty Suarez on ABC’s hit comedy, Ugly Betty, for which she won Golden Globe, Emmy, Screen Actors Guild, ALMA, and Imagen Awards. She produces and stars in the acclaimed NBC workplace comedy, Superstore, currently in its fourth season. In 2016 Ferrera cofounded HARNESS, an organization connecting storytellers and activists to amplify the cultural narrative around social justice. She speaks throughout the country as an advocate for human and civil rights and was the opening speaker at the monumental Women’s March on Washington in January 2017. Ferrera resides in New York and Los Angeles with her husband Ryan, their son Sebastian, and their two golden retrievers.
"Readers will come for the big names, but they'll stay for the powerful stories, excellent writing, and feeling of connection. An absolute must for well-rounded collections."
—Library Journal (starred review)
“[T]his beautifully woven collection of memoir essays... gifts readers with intimate glimpses of contributors' private lives, rife with admiration for immigrant parents and pride in cultural backgrounds, along with the frustration and anguish that come with feeling like an outsider in their own country.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Heartfelt essays from vibrant American voices.”
"You know some of the writers already (hello, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Issa Rae), but their voices give powerful insight into the lived experiences of so many."
“The essays are heartfelt reminders that our country has been great for a while now.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
"Wide-ranging and heartfelt, this timely collection is quintessentially American."
“[T]he essays paint a moving portrait of diversity and belonging.”
"Filled with gems. … From some of the biggest stars in art and entertainment come funny, touching and complicated reminders that the word ‘American’ is wonderfully and endlessly undefinable."
"In a timely and compelling discussion, Olympic athletes, politicians, writers and actors reflect on their varying heritage and American identity."
"Even though this anthology speaks to the American experience, the themes of belonging and identity will hit home for anyone who’s ever felt torn between two cultures or two places equally dear to them."
"American Like Me by America Ferrera gives people who live between cultures the confidence to embrace their background while overcoming feelings of being left out or disconnected... Serving up a strong dose of nostalgia, this book will make you cherish your childhood." –US Weekly