Collection of books featured in the Skirball's 2022 Spring Book Group


Skirball Book Groups: Stories of Immigration

Spring 2022

About the Program

Inspired by the Ashkenazi Jewish immigrant stories shared in the exhibition Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America, the Skirball’s spring book groups invite you to read and discuss five critically acclaimed books that highlight the striking commonalities and stark differences found in American immigrant experiences across cultures, time periods, and circumstances.

FEBRUARY: Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar—A deeply personal novel about identity and belonging that centers on a Pakistani immigrant father and son in the post-9/11 United States.

MARCH: Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha—A suspense-filled novel about racial tensions in Los Angeles that follows two immigrant families grappling with the effects of a decades-old crime.

APRIL: The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea—A powerful true story about a group of men who attempt to cross the Mexican border through the deadliest region of the continent.

MAY: A Beginner's Guide to America by Roya Hakakian—A heartfelt and humorous portrait of what being a new immigrant in America is really like, written as a guidebook by an author with first-hand experience.

JUNE: Enemies, A Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer—An examination of the aftermath of the Holocaust that follows a guilt-ridden survivor as he adjusts to mainstream society in New York City.

GROUP 1: Tuesdays, 10:00 am–12:00 pm

February 8, March 8, April 12, May 3, June 14

GROUP 2: Tuesdays, 1:00–3:00 pm

February 8, March 8, April 12, May 3, June 14

GROUP 3: Wednesdays, 10:00 am–12:00 pm

February 9, March 9, April 13, May 4, June 15

GROUP 4: Wednesdays, 1:00–3:00 pm

February 9, March 9, April 13, May 4, June 15

ONLINE GROUP: Thursdays, 1:00–3:00 pm (PT)

February 10, March 10, April 14, May 5, June 16

Facilitator: Janet Bain Fattal holds an MA in comparative literature from UCLA. She has taught world literature and composition at many levels. A screenwriter, novelist, and book group facilitator, Fattal loves to share her passion for stories and ideas with others, particularly in an informal environment.

“The teacher was so much more than I expected. Our discussions were well-led, lively, and informative.”—former Skirball student