Author Min Jin Lee, who will join the College as a writer-in-residence starting in the 2019-2020 academic year, recently spoke with WBUR’s On Point about being an immigrant in America, and on its elite college campuses.
"I’m going to sound like an optimist here,” she told The Guardian. “We are having a dark moment in the American political climate regarding undocumented migrants and asylum seekers but, then again, the history of immigration in America has always been checkered.”
“In the United States we have two competing mythologies about immigration. On the one hand, we believe that different kinds of races make up an American person. On the other, a deep nativist strain keeps resurfacing. Nevertheless, there has also been strong resistance to nativism. Frederick Douglass, for instance, called the United States a 'composite nation' when he argued against the Chinese Exclusion Act [of 1882].”
Her three-year appointment to Amherst’s English department came about after her appearance at the College’s LitFest in March 2018.