Words HOT BOOK SUMMER on colourful background

The Best Second-Generation Stories To Read This Summer

Designed by Anna Jay.
Welcome to Hot Book Summer. From books about queer joy to snappy page turners you can read in a weekend, true crime books without the violence against women to Unbothered's picks of the best books written by Black women now, R29 has got your summer reading list sorted.
While many people prefer their beach books to be light and lol-inducing, others like their summer reads to be thought-provoking and personal. Sure, a tale about a twentysomething caught up in a love triangle can kill a couple of hours but it isn’t going to stay with you in the same way that a true story will, or at least one based on a real-life collective experience.
For some authors, growing up as part of a second-generation immigrant family has shaped their views on storytelling, forming the basis of novels and personal histories alike. Encompassing the complexities and joys of living in a different country from their parents or grandparents, these books are a welcome exploration of family, home and the meaning of identity.
Sometimes discussed through memoir and other times through first-person fiction, these stories pull on both personal struggles and the wider experiences of first and second-generation families. While some stories delve into the feeling of being ‘othered’, other tales rejoice in the power of duality, exploring the ways in which understanding two cultures can better our views of the world.
From emotional and uplifting memoirs about the power of traditional home-cooked meals to novels about alienation and intolerance, these are the best second-generation stories to read this summer…
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn a commission.

More from Books & Art

R29 Original Series