Not From Here: The Song of America

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

Asked to write an opera based on immi­grant sto­ries, Leah Lax spends a year lis­ten­ing to riv­et­ing accounts of upheaval, sur­vival, migra­tion, and arrival told to her in con­fi­dence by new Amer­i­cans from around the globe. In Not From Here, in between sev­en of these amaz­ing sto­ries, Leah dis­cov­ers the sto­ry of her own Jew­ish fam­i­ly with its astound­ing par­al­lels. The immi­grant expe­ri­ence, she says, is the sto­ry of Amer­i­ca. As a Jew, she rec­og­nizes the mov­ing strug­gle in these sto­ries to find some kind of cul­tur­al bal­ance in their new­ly hyphen­at­ed iden­ti­ties. She calls doing so danc­ing on the hyphen”…and quin­tes­sen­tial­ly Amer­i­can. As a result of her year of lis­ten­ing, Leah finds con­text for her life and fam­i­ly as a Jew­ish-Amer­i­can and a gay per­son, and a deep­er sense of home and belong­ing. She becomes some­how more American.

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