HERE WE ARE American Dreams, American Nightmares (A Memoir)

LIVE at The Battery – HERE WE ARE: American Dreams, American Nightmares with Aarti Shahani

LIVE at The Battery – HERE WE ARE: American Dreams, American Nightmares with Aarti ShahaniWho really belongs in America? In her memoir HERE WE ARE: American Dreams, American Nightmares, NPR correspondent Aarti Shahani uses her family’s immigration story to unpack the deep schism in American culture by which the “deserving” are deified and the “undeserving” demonized—in her family’s case, relentlessly.HERE WE ARE follows the lives of two family members: Aarti, the precocious scholarship kid at one of Manhattan's most elite prep schools, and her dad, the shopkeeper who mistakenly sells watches and calculators to the notorious Cali drug cartel. Together, the two represent the extremes that coexist in our country—even within a single family. Join Aarti Shahani in conversation with Ezra Klein on her book and the important issues around immigration and criminal justice reform. This event is presented as part of Battery Town Hall – an election-year series on the issues that matter most.More about the speakers:Aarti Namdev Shahani is the author of memoir Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares. She is a correspondent for NPR based in Silicon Valley, covering the largest companies on earth. Her reporting has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, and an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award. Before journalism, Shahani was a community organizer in New York City, helping prisoners and families facing deportation. Her activism was honored by the Union Square Awards and Legal Aid Society. She received a Master's in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, with generous support from the university and the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. She completed her bachelor's degree in anthropology at the University of Chicago. She was among the youngest recipients of the Charles H. Revson Fellowship at Columbia University and is an alumna of A Better Chance, Inc. Shahani grew up in Flushing, Queens—in one of the most diverse zip codes in the country—and believes every American should visit her hometown to understand what makes America great.Ezra Klein is the editor-at-large and founder of Vox. Before that, he was columnist and editor at the Washington Post, a policy analyst at MSNBC, and a contributor at Bloomberg. He's written for the New Yorker and the New York Review of books, and appeared on Face the Nation, Real Time with Bill Maher, The McLaughlin Report, The Daily Show, and many more.

Posted by The Battery on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Here We Are is a heart-wrenching memoir about an immigrant family’s American Dream, the justice system that took it away, and the daughter who fought to get it back, from NPR correspondent Aarti Namdev Shahani.

The Shahanis came to Queens—from India, by way of Casablanca—in the 1980s. They were undocumented for a few unsteady years and then, with the arrival of their green cards, they thought they’d made it. This is the story of how they did, and didn’t; the unforeseen obstacles that propelled them into years of disillusionment and heartbreak; and the strength of a family determined to stay together.

Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares follows the lives of Aarti, the precocious scholarship kid at one of Manhattan’s most elite prep schools, and her dad, the shopkeeper who mistakenly sells watches and calculators to the notorious Cali drug cartel. Together, the two represent the extremes that coexist in our country, even within a single family, and a truth about immigrants that gets lost in the headlines. It isn’t a matter of good or evil; it’s complicated.

Ultimately, Here We Are is a coming-of-age story, a love letter from an outspoken modern daughter to her soft-spoken Old World father. She never expected they’d become best friends.

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