Mark D. Goodman is from Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
I am a 1960s English major who ended up with a landscape business. I also teach developmental English at Philadelphia Community College. My students, who come from a broad range of the human family, seem to enjoy books by and about members of various ethnic groups.
By Leslie Marmon Silko
This is a powerful novel about a Pueblo Indian veteran who reconnects with his tribal roots after a traumatic stint during World War II. Silko skillfully interweaves Native American myths to amplify the protagonist's path to spiritual healing. This is the best book I've read in the last ten years.
By Maxine Hong Kingston
Combining autobiography, fiction, and reflections on the male immigrants in her family, Kingston, better known for her memoir The Woman Warrior, presents a realistic view of Chinese immigration from the mid-1800s to the present. Her description of 19th-century Chinese railroad workers is unforgettable.
By Jose Antonio Villarreal
The son of Mexican immigrants, called "pochos," Richard is caught between two cultures in the 1930s and 1940s. He witnesses farm-labor strife, the zoot-suit craze, and the tension between Mexican Americans and Anglos. This 1959 coming-of-age semiautobiography is considered by many as the first Chicano novel.
By Willa Cather
This American classic depicts the harsh life on the prairies for immigrants from Czechoslovakia, Sweden, France, and Norway during the late 18Th and early 19Th centuries. Written almost 100 years ago, Cather's passionate novel about America's heartland still makes an impression--on my night (adult) students.
COMING OF AGE IN MISSISSIPPI
By Anne Moody
What was it like to grow up poor, black, and female in the rural Deep South in the 1940s and 1950s? In this seminal autobiography, the author tells how her formative years led to her civil rights activism in the late 1950s and 1960s. A wonderful mix of the personal and the political!
EAST TO AMERICA
Korean American Life Stories
Edited by Elaine H. Kim and Eui-Young Yu These short first-person narratives depict an engaging variety of Korean American experiences, allowing non-Koreans to catch a glimpse of an ethnic group inadequately represented in literature. The book also contains a helpful outline of Korean...