I'm looking for the Peter Hessler of the TCK world.
May 21, 2012 5:24 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for memoirs written by Americans who grew up overseas.

I have been reading a lot of travel books recently, but I would really like to find books written by third culture kids.

I would particularly like to find ones written fairly recently (I'm not looking for people who grew up in colonialist Africa, for example). I would like to focus on books published by large-ish publishing houses (no self-publishing, no tiny Christian presses).

Memoirs written by missionary kids, business kids and military brats are all ok.
posted by kingfishers catch fire to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Dreams of My Father?
posted by ThisIsNotMe at 5:26 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Alexandra Fuller was born in the UK, grew up in Africa, and currently lives in the US, so if she counts you might want to check out Don't Lets Go To The Dogs Tonight and her other memoirs.
posted by jabes at 5:30 PM on May 21, 2012

It's fiction, but nominated for a Pulitzer, and the stuff memoirs are made of: The Poisonwood Bible.
posted by feral_goldfish at 7:34 PM on May 21, 2012

Stand Before Your God. About an American kid sent to private (guess there they say "public") school.

I read it in high school and remembered it instantly when I saw your question so I reckon it's good.
posted by sweetkid at 7:38 PM on May 21, 2012

All the Fishes Come Home to Roost, by Rachel Manija Brown chronicles her growing up on an ashram in Inda.

Disclaimer: the author's a friend, but I enjoyed her book.
posted by telophase at 8:08 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I found a bunch of blogs (and an answer I gave to another askme question) by googling "foreign service brat" with quotes.
posted by mareli at 5:52 AM on May 22, 2012

Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz is an older version.
posted by nicebookrack at 11:24 PM on May 22, 2012

I was also going to suggest Homesick: My Own Story, about Jean Fritz (children's historical fiction author), who grew up in China prior to WWII. It deals with a number of third culture issues, as it covers both the time she lived in China and her time in the States after coming home.

I would also recommend the books Mukiwa and When an Crocodile Eats the Sun, both by Peter Godwin, a British boy who grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) during the 1960s and later, first when it was a British colony and subsequently after it declared its independence and descended into civil war. The second book details his experiences upon returning to Zimbabwe around the millennium after going to Britain for university and beginning his adult life there. Both are excellent books. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight is also about Rhodesia and in a similar vein.

This isn't quite the same deal, but In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson is also a great book, this one about a Chinese girl who moves to New York with her parents and ends up finding acceptance amongst her peers when she starts following the Brooklyn Dodgers. It's a kids' book, but an old favorite.
posted by FaustianSlip at 7:12 AM on May 23, 2012

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I've read several of these, but there are definitely some I hadn't heard of or gotten around to.

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robertson is one of my favorite kids' books, as well.
posted by kingfishers catch fire at 9:11 AM on May 24, 2012

Norma Field -- From My Grandmother's Bedside.
posted by spaceheater at 12:18 PM on May 24, 2012

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