Posted by: Lisa Hill | June 13, 2020

Reading for Refugee Week

This Sunday 14 June to Saturday 20 June is Refugee Week, 2020. Here’s a compelling collection of immigrant and refugee stories for you to explore:


My reviews are here:

Non-fiction & memoir

My reviews are here:

Donations to the Asylum Seeker Resource Network can be made here.


  1. There’s also Eldorado by Laurent Gaudé, about immigrants who sail to Europe.


    • I haven’t read that one… but there are heaps more than these that I’ve suggested. And no wonder, because immigration and refugee settlement is commonplace all over the world, and it’s time we stopped pretending that it’s unusual.
      And it should be commonplace, because the wealthy countries ought to be accepting refugees.


  2. Black Rock White City?


    • Yes indeed.
      But I wanted to keep it to twelve and to choose ones that people might not know of in this context…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a copy of The Beekeeper of Aleppo but was thinking to give it away unread. Seeing it on your list and reading your review has made me re-consider.


    • That is so nice to hear, thank you!


  4. This is such a great list, Lisa. I have a copy of On the Java Ridge, and have read Walking Free (totally unforgettable) and the Meg Mundell.


    • Thanks, Kim:)
      It’s one of those things I mean to do every year and then I get side-tracked…


  5. Hello Lisa and ANZ Lit Readers,

    The selection of literature chronicling refugee experiences are very compelling. I think this body of literary texts need to be advanced more within school curriculum.

    Additional refugee literature promoted in the U.S. are as follows:

    Penguin Book of Migration Literature edited by Dr. Dohra Ahmad
    The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives
    Refuge: A Novel by Dina Nayeri
    We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World by Malala Yousafzai
    The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
    The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
    The Distance Between Us: A Memoir by Reyna Grande
    The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui

    Take Care,


    • Thanks, Maxine, this is a useful list.
      But it’s a tricky thing choosing books for compulsory reading in schools. Teachers dealing with a wide range of abilities means that often they set short stories or even just extracts, because if they set a novel, it won’t get read.
      Here in Australia, however, we have a number of thoughtful authors and publishers who have produced picture story books about refugees for an audience of older children. I had a whole collection of these in my school library, and I used to read them to the children and then discuss them, and I also put up a display of these books for borrowing. Shaun Tan, for instance, has created a wordless graphic novel called The Arrival, and I’ve seen it bring tears to a child’s eyes…


  6. […] because we all share a common humanity.  Some readers will remember that last year I posted a suggested reading list for Refugee Week and this year I could add two more to the fiction list (links are to my […]


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