In early 2019, I set out to write a book about intercultural relationships, largely because I couldn’t find one like what I was looking for. It seems like love stories that cross cultures are still an infrequent enough topic that when I find a book that captures the experience well, it’s still noteworthy. These are some of the books about intercultural relationships that I’ve enjoyed the most, and I hope to be able to continue to add to this list.
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This was the first book I ever read as an adult in an intercultural relationship where I felt like someone was in a position that I could relate to. While Krista’s husband is Libyan and mine is Turkish, the challenges that faced them relating to geography and cultural differences were not unfamiliar. It’s an intimate portrait of a marriage, and Krista’s vulnerability in sharing so openly is humbling to read.
I had the privilege of interviewing Sarah on the Borderless Stories podcast in my first year. I’ve never read anything quite like her book: it’s a memoir, interlaced with a great deal of information about immigration in the US and also references and calls to action for the Christian faith community. She shares the journey she and her husband went through, beginning their relationship while his status in the US was undocumented. This is not a work to be dismissed if you’re not a person of faith; the information and ideas present will benefit anyone with a heart for better understanding the immigration situation in the US at present and moving forward in a compassionate, informed way.
When I saw the trailer for the movie adaptation of this YA novel this summer, I knew I had to get my hands on the book. While it wasn’t the style of book that I would normally read, I really appreciated the depiction of the two main characters, one of whom is a first generation American, and the other who is facing deportation with her family. Nicola Yoon’s depiction is drawn from her own experience in an intercultural marriage, and the struggles the characters faced felt very honest, even as they were going through the less believable experience of falling in love in one day. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the book was fun.
One of my new friends from 2019 is Mariam Ottimofiore, and she has been an inspiration for my own journey as a writer. I interviewed her about the concepts from her book during Love + Culture Haven, and she has such a unique metaphor for navigating the mobile life and the cultures present, stitching all of the pieces together into a beautiful creation. Her book has been very popular in the community of expats and mobile families, but I know her ideas can extend beyond that to the intercultural community, wherever they may find themselves.
Tayo Rockson is a friend of the Borderless Stories podcast, and I had the honor of interviewing him this year, an interview which was released the day before his book launched. He’s a talented speaker, writer, and consultant who understands the isolation that can come from feeling “different.”He has truly embraced his own difference, using it to make the world a better and more compassionate place. If you don’t have the opportunity to hear him speak, reading his book will be a close second to that experience.