Roots and Reflections

South Asians in the Pacific Northwest

Amy Bhatt and Nalini Iyer
Foreword by Deepa Banerjee

  • paperback not available
  • $29.95 hardcover (9780295992440) Add to Cart
  • Published: February 2013
  • Subject Listing: Asian American Studies, American Ethnic Studies, Oral History, Western History
  • Bibliographic information: 300 pp., 26 illus., notes, bibliog., index, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World
  • Published with: South Asian Oral History Project and University of Washington Libraries
  • Contents

Immigrants from South Asia first began settling in Washington and Oregon in the nineteenth century, but because of restrictions placed on Asian immigration to the United States in the early twentieth century, the vast majority have come to the region since World War II. Roots and Reflections uses oral history to show how South Asian immigrant experiences were shaped by the region and how they differed over time and across generations. It includes the stories of immigrants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka who arrived from the end of World War II through the 1980s.

Personal stories combine with historical, media, and popular culture accounts to illuminate themes of departure and arrival, gender relations, education, work, marriage, parenting, ties with the home country, and community building. By exploring the local Pacific Northwest dimension of a global immigrant phenomena, this important study deconstructs stereotypes and cultural assumptions made by non-South Asians and South Asians alike.

Amy Bhatt is assistant professor of gender and women's studies at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Nalini Iyer is professor of English at Seattle University.

Watch the trailer:
Foreword by Deepa Banerjee

Introduction: situating stories
An Introduction to South Asian Communities in the
Pacific Northwest
1 “finding traces of our existence here”
Pre-World War Two South Asian Migrations

2 routes and roots
Stories of Departure and Arrival

3 creating professional classes
Education and Training

4 all in a day’s work
Employment, Migration, and Identity

5 falling from the tree
Family, Gender, and Generational Differences

6 seeds take root
Growing South Asian Communities in the Pacific Northwest

epilogue: meditations on methodologies

Appendix 1
Interviews in the South Asian Oral History Project

Appendix 2
Narrator Biographies

"The authors address different social mores for women and men, as well as organizations created to support progressive world agendas and help individuals. Highly recommended." -N. J. Hervey, Choice, July 2013

"It's directly relevant to the immigration debate being waged at a national level. In particular, it reveals how policies such as the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 continue to dictate who gets to come to the U. S. in terms of country . . ." -Shiwani Srivastava, International Examiner, March 2013

"The resulting interviews were so rich in life experience and so telling in diasporic drama that . . . Amy Bhatt and Nalini Iyer, have collaborated to share some of these stories in book form and provide context for them within the bigger picture of Pacific Northwest history. -Barbara Lloyd McMichael, Bellingham Herald, February 2013