副标题: A Novel
An Albanian living surreptitiously in New York City on an expiring tourist visa, twenty-six year old Lula hopes to make a better life for herself in America. When she lands a job as caretaker to Zach, a rebellious high school senior in suburban New Jersey, it seems that the security, comfort, and happiness of the American dream might finally be within reach. Her new boss, Mister Stanley, an idealistic college professor turned Wall Street executive, assumes that Lula is a destitute refugee of Balkan wars. He enlists his childhood friend, Don Settebello, a hotshot lawyer who prides himself on defending political underdogs to straighten out Lula's legal situation. In true American fashion, everyone gets what he wants and feels good about it. Things take a different turn, however, when Lula's Albanian brothers show up in a brand-new black Lexus SUV. Hoodie, Leather Jacket, and the Cute One remind her that all Albanians are family, but what they ask of her is no small favor. Lula's new American life suddenly becomes more complicated, as she struggles to find her footing as a stranger in a strange new land. Is it possible that her new American life is not as different from her old Albanian one as she once imagined? Set in the aftermath of 9/11, "My New American Life" offers a vivid, darkly humorous, bitingly real portrait of a particular moment in history, when a nation's dreams and ideals gave way to a culture of cynicism, lies and fear. Beneath its high comic surface, the novel is a more serious consideration of immigration, of what it was like to live through the Bush-Cheney years, and of what it means to be American.