Riverhead Books Concepcion: An Immigrant Family's Fortunes [Memoir] Riverhead Books Concepcion: An Immigrant Family's Fortunes [Memoir]
Riverhead Books Concepcion: An Immigrant Family's Fortunes [Memoir] Riverhead Books Concepcion: An Immigrant Family's Fortunes [Memoir]

Concepcion: An Immigrant Family's Fortunes [Memoir]

By Albert Samaha


Publication Date: October 12, 2021

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A journalist’s powerful and incisive account of the forces steering the fate of his sprawling Filipinx-American family reframes how we comprehend the immigrant experience

Nearing the age at which his mother had migrated to the US, part of the wave of non-Europeans who arrived after immigration quotas were relaxed in 1965, Albert Samaha began to question the ironclad belief in a better future that had inspired her family to uproot themselves from their birthplace. As a rising tide of inequality and discrimination threatened to engulf her, her brother Spanky—a rising pop star back in Manila, now working as a luggage handler at San Franciso airport—and others of their generation, he wondered whether their decision to abandon a middle-class existence in the Philippines had been worth the cost.

Excavating his family’s history back to the region’s unique geopolitical roots in Spanish colonialism, Japanese occupation, and American intervention, Samaha fits his family’s arc into the wider story of global migration as determined by chess moves among superpowers. And by relating their personal history with warmth and affection but also clear-eyed skepticism, Concepcion explores what it might mean to reckon with imperialism’s unjust legacy, to live with contradiction and hope, to fight for the unrealized ideals of an inherited homeland.

Story Locale: San Francisco, CA; Manila, Philippines

About the Author

Albert Samaha is an investigative journalist at BuzzFeed News whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Village Voice, and the San Francisco Examiner, among other outlets. A Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant recipient, he is also the author of Never Ran, Never Will: Boyhood and Football in a Changing American Inner City, which was a finalist for the 2019 PEN/ESPN Literary Sports Writing Award and winner of the New York Society Library’s 2019 Hornblower Award. He lives in New York City.

Author Residence: New York, NY

Author Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Format: Hardcover

Length: 400 pages

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Publication Date: October 12, 2021

ISBN: 9780593086087

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