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Two Ways to Belong in America

Born in 1940 and raised in Calcutta, India, Bharati Mukherjee immigrated to the United States in 1961 and earned an M. F. A. and a Ph. D. in literature. Mukherjee is the author of several novels, including Tiger’s Daughter (1972) and Jasmine (1989), and short story collections, such as The Middleman and Other Stories (1988). She teaches literature and fiction writing at the University of California, Berkeley. “Two Ways to Belong in America” first appeared in the New York Times. It was written to address a movement in Congress to take away government benefits from resident aliens. Like her fiction, though, it is also about the issues that confront all immigrants in America. This is a tale of two sisters…