A Very Modern Story of Immigration

Paperback - 2019 | First edition.
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Set in an alternative world where aliens have come to Earth and integrated with society, LaGuardia revolves around a pregnant Nigerian-American doctor, Future Nwafor Chukwuebuka who has just returned to NYC under mysterious conditions, who smuggles an illegal alien plant named 'Letme Live' through customs and security. There, she and Letme become part of a growing population of mostly African and shape-shifting alien immigrants, battling against interrogation, discrimination and travel bans, as they try to make it in a new land.
Publisher: Milwaukie, Oregon : Berger Books, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781506710754
Branch Call Number: Graphic SF
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly color illustrations ; 26 cm


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Chapel_Hill_MaiaJ Jul 16, 2019

It's not every day that an author can transition from novel-writing to comic-writing so smoothly. LaGuardia did not disappoint. I read it in one sitting.

It's obvious from every description and the author's note that this is an allegory about 'America First' immigration policies specifically and racism and fear in America generally. Usually I find that stories suffer from being overly allegorical, but this story was unique and engaging. Although there were clear parallels with real world events, it didn't seem forced at all. She builds fearful anti-alien characters with compassion while tracing an arc that reveals the absurdity of their prejudices. She creates a large cast of characters from across the world and the universe that illustrates the complexities of immigration, war, and hatred.

My one complaint is a common complaint I have with comics released issue by issue. Some scenes felt rushed or under-developed, and I blame this on the length restrictions for each issue. Still overall a wonderful, worthwhile read. Plus Tana Ford's art is amazing. Despite my complaints about it, I'm so glad this is a comic and not a novel, so I get to see these illustrations.

This is an allegory about fear and prejudice, but it is not a hopeless story. It is full of love and life and growth. I highly recommend this to fans of futuristic scifi, afrofuturism, and those interested in a new way to explore issues of prejudice and immigration.


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