Story of the Week, a blog series highlighting visitor stories from the American Writers Museum, for August 14, 2020

Story of the Week

Every week, the AWM is excited to bring you stories written by our visitors in our Story of the Day exhibit, which features typewriters that visitors can interact with directly, or our newest temporary exhibit, My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today. Check back weekly for new stories, and visit My-America.org to see a virtual version of the exhibit, share your story, and possibly be featured here!

Part of our newest temporary exhibit features an interactive station that allowed visitors to write their family’s story on a luggage tag and stamp it with the reason their family came to the United States or how they’ve moved within the country, whether it was Family, Refuge, by Force, for Freedom or Opportunity, or a different reason. Below are four stories shared in the exhibit, which opened to the public November 21, 2019. Visit My-America.org or comment below to share your family’s immigration (or migration) story.


A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit online at My-America.org

“Havana, Cuba, 1996. In the middle of the worst economic crisis in the country, I entered the United States Interest Section to ask for a visa. The consular officer asked me why I wanted to emigrate. “To write in freedom,” I said. That probably wasn’t the most common answer applicants gave, but I got the visa nonetheless. More than twenty years later, having published twelve books, I found Mr. Steven Rice online and thanked him. I write in English and Spanish. My mystery novels, published by Soho Crime, feature Padrino, a Santero detective, and weave in Afro-Cuban beliefs and culinary elements: Death Comes in through the Kitchen (2018), Queen of Bones (2019, chosen by NBC News as “one of the top 10 books from 2019 by and about Latinos”) and and Death of a Telenovela Star, upcoming August 2020. Muchas gracias.”

Teresa Dovalpage
7/22/20

A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit at the American Writers Museum in Chicago

“My dad came on vacation and didn’t go back to Poland for over 20 years. My mom came for a new education, hoping to become a nurse.”

11/23/2019
Jalin K.

A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit at the American Writers Museum in Chicago

“After meeting my American sweetheart, we applied shortly after for a US visa. Fast forward 18 months later, married, green card, and looking for my American dream every day.”

2/23/20
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