The Ink, August 24, 2023, The Secret Immigrants Keep, Even From Themselves
The common American immigrant narrative — one especially propped up by Indian-Americans — is one of upward possibility. One escapes the tyrannies or doldrums or deprivations of elsewhere, and comes to America, and rises and thrives and becomes the fullest expression of oneself.
But, in Prachi’s telling, this is a story that obscures and erases more than it reveals. It obscures and erases how upward possibility is not, in fact, the norm in America. It obscures and erases the traumatic costs of being an immigrant in the first place. It obscures and erases the relentless pressure on immigrants to fit in, to assimilate, to rise, that can crush the spirit and soul. It obscures and erases how trying gamely to bear the burden of proving the American dream true can make you lose your mind.