Moving Fictions is a site dedicated to learning, celebrating and spreading modern migrant literature. These novels we analyze are parts of larger stories, illustrating the difficult internal and external conflicts that come from being displaced or struggling with the concept of home. In these stories, we witness hardship, we learn about cultures and communities that we might not have knowledge about, and we find beautiful messages of the human spirit in the face of insecurity and ostracism. In the common themes and emotions of migrant authors, it becomes immediately evident how their personal stories weave into their fictions, and how these fictions represent a stunningly complex reality for so many people who find themselves having to relocate, rebuild and recreate their lives.

Refugee: one who is forced to flee their home country due to reasons of war, violence, natural disaster, danger or persecution without warning. Refugees cannot return to their home countries until it is safe to do so. In the United States, they possess the opportunity to become permanent residents, and eventually citizens.

Asylum seeker: one seeking international protection from dangers in their home country, but their refugee status hasn’t yet been determined legally. They must apply for refugee status by demonstrating that their of their fear of persecution in their home country is valid. Not all asylum seekers will obtain the status of refugee.

Migrant: one who travels within their own country borders, or across international borders, in search of better economic opportunity, such as seasonal work or new employment. Rather than fleeing from danger, they seek to find better working opportunities.

Immigrant: one who makes the conscious decision to leave their homeland and move to a foreign country with the intention to settle and live there. They often go through a long vetting process to immigrate to a new country, and many eventually become citizens, or legal permanent residents. They are free to return back to their home country.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie shares her perspective on the dangers of a single story.