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New Immigrant WhitenessRace, Neoliberalism, and Post-Soviet Migration to the United States$
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Claudia Sadowski-Smith

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479847730

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479847730.001.0001

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Fictions of Irregular Post-Soviet Migration

Fictions of Irregular Post-Soviet Migration

(p.112) 4 Fictions of Irregular Post-Soviet Migration
New Immigrant Whiteness

Claudia Sadowski-Smith

NYU Press

This chapter explores Sana Krasikov’s short story collection One More Year (2008) and Anya Ulinich’s novel Petropolis (2007) in order to develop a comparative approach to representations of irregular and unauthorized migration, a form of movement that has been largely identified with migrants from Mexico and Central America. The fiction by Krasikov and Ulinich represents ethnically and racially diverse protagonists from Russia, Georgia, and Uzbekistan, who arrive in the United States on nonimmigrant visas and become irregular or undocumented. These two works move beyond the themes of assimilation and family migration that dominated twentieth-century cultural productions by eastern European immigrants of Jewish descent, such as Mary Antin, Abraham Cahan, and Anzia Yezierska. Their work laid the foundation for a literature of assimilation to a middle-class white US racial identity that became fully available to European immigrants by the mid-twentieth century. The fiction by Krasikov and Ulinich emphasizes post-Soviet characters’ experiences of diminished access to the US labor market, residency, and citizenship rights, and thus positions itself in the larger context of contemporary US immigrant writing.

Keywords:   post-Soviet immigration, US literatures of immigration, undocumented immigration, American Jewish studies, literary and cultural studies, American studies, Sana Krasikov, Anya Ulinich

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