Across the Big Blue Sea: Good Intentions and Hard Lessons in an Italian Refugee Home Paperback – February 21, 2017
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"A powerful page-turner: engrossing, funny and insightful. A vital read for these times!" - Rachel Roddy, The Guardian columnist
"In this era of ugly nativism and xenophobia ascendant, Katja Meier's warm and often funny book is a tonic of goodwill. The important lessons about herself and the world that she learns are a timely reminder of why the great religions, and all the best traditions of human civilization, oblige those of us with roofs over our heads and food to eat, to shelter and feed the stranger." - Nina Burleigh, Newsweek national politics correspondent, and NYT bestselling author
"Absolutely essential reading. Across the Big Blue Sea attends, with humor and humility, to one of the critical questions of our time: how to respect the humanity and dignity of those born in nation-states whose policies and politics compromise both. This is not a tale of victims and villains, nor of saints and heroes, but of women--Italian, Swiss, Nigerian--seeking to make their world a place worth calling home."- Taiye Selasi, author of Ghana Must Go
"Riveting and funny... an important and illuminating book! Katja Meier brings a fresh and critical perspective to the complex issues surrounding the immigrant flows in and out of Italy. What unfolds in her quaint Tuscan village can teach us larger lessons about how to welcome new people into our communities." - Angela Ledgerwood, The Lit Up Show host and Esquire book editor
"Honest, absorbing, and written with empathy and warmth, Meier gives us a much-needed insight into Italy's migrant crisis. An important read for anyone who wants to understand the plight of immigrants and the challenges and joys faced by those trying to welcome them to Europe." - Noo Saro-Wiwa, author of Looking for Transwonderland
"Katja Meier writes with honesty and passion about the difficulties of working with displaced people, some of whom are not always open- for various reasons- to accepting the help on offer. She also warns us of the dangers of a one- size- fits- all approach to helping those in need and through the stories she tells, reminds us ultimately of our shared humanity." - Chika Unigwe, Bonderman Asst. Professor of Lit. Arts, Brown University and author of On Black Sisters' Street
"Essential reading for anyone who thinks they understand the 'migrant/refugee crisis' in Italy and beyond. Well done!" - Barbie Latza Nadeau, journalist (Daily Beast, CNN, Newsweek) and author of Roadmap to Hell
About the Author
- ASIN : B01NAV41L9
- Publisher : Katja Eveline Meier; 1st edition (February 21, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-1220015936
- Item Weight : 12.7 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.72 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,437,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I just finished reading the book, which I couldn't put down. (Well, I did, twice.) The author writes well and I really hope a lot of folks get to read it. It flowed easily and everything came to life. You don't have to be interested in the refugee crisis to get involved in the story, but after you're finished, this book could very easily pique your curiosity to learn more.
Top reviews from other countries
A very personal and thoughtful account of the joys and the frustrations of trying to help refugees, in this case Nigerian girls, who have escaped their country in order to try to find a new life in Italy. This is a great read and while it is easy to fly through the book, the issues will stay with you as you consider how to help others, particularly those from another culture. There is often an abyss between what we might think they need and what they consider their needs. This is truly a cautionary tale.
Katja covers a sensitive topic, touching on the xenophobia that is rife in Italy, using humour and honesty to capture this wonderful story.
Refugees are and will be a part of our lives forever, this book helps us to understand that they are people too.
personal account by the author, Katja Meier, of the struggles, humour and sadness of committing oneself to helping a group of Nigerian female migrants to adapt to a culture environment and bureaucracy that couldn't be further away from what they're used to. Ms Meier doesn't gloss over any of the most difficult issues experienced by herself and the women nor does she hide the fact that it can all seem truly hopeless, at times. It's a superb example of good intentions often not being enough to make a difference under such tough and frustrating circumstances and it really made me think about whether I'd have had the guts to even try.