Susan Ossman, Moving Matters: Paths of Serial Migration (Stanford University Press, 2013)
Susan Ossman’s innovative book aims at understanding the experience of “people who […] have immigrated once, then moved again to a third homeland” (1–2). Her reflection is based on her own experience as well as many encounters with similar migrants living in different places in Northern America, Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. She demonstrates that “serial migration” is more than the repetition of migration. Accordingly, “when someone ventures beyond the endpoint of immigration, [he or] she shifts from a narrative in which [he or] she is pulled between two places, peoples, and cultures toward a situation in which the primacy of place, the warm embrace of community, and the received ideas of culture are subordinated to [his or] her life story” (69). Serial migration shapes personal identities in a unique manner, distinct from the experience of ordinary immigrants. As Ossman puts it,
“the serial migrant’s difficulty with differences is […] not simply that of being ‘other’;...
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