Check Out a Sneak Peek of ‘Refugee Hotel’

Refugee Hotel is a groundbreaking collection of photography and interviews that documents the arrival of refugees in the United States. Evocative images are coupled with moving testimonies from people describing their first days in the U.S., the lives they’ve left behind, and the new communities they’ve since created. Among the narrators:

PSAW WAH BAW, who was forced to flee her village in Burma amidst armed conflict. She describes how her family left their village with just five cups of rice, beginning an arduous journey toward resettlement that would take them through Bangkok, Tokyo, Illinois, and Texas.

PASTOR NOEL, who fled the civil war in Burundi in 1972 for a refugee camp in Congo. When war erupted in Congo in 1996, Noel was once again forced from his home. He now lives in Mobile, Alabama, and is a central figure in the African refugee community.

FELIX, a South Sudanese man who joined the rebel army as a teenager but eventually fled to a refugee camp in Kenya. Felix now lives in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he works with Habitat for Humanity to assist African refugees in purchasing their own homes.

About the Authors:

GABRIELE STABILE is an Italian photographer based in New York City. His photography has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

JULIET LINDERMAN is a reporter for the Times-Picayune. Formerly the editor of a small community newspaper, she has written for many publications including the New York Times and the Village Voice.

Gabriele and Juliet will be on tour for Refugee Hotel in California and New York January and February 2013. For tour dates, click here.

To order Refugee Hotel from the McSweeney’s store, click here.

Praise for Refugee Hotel:

Refugee Hotel is full of stories that pull you in so immediately, and with such force, that the act of reading becomes surreal. Instead of sitting on the couch holding a book, it is as if you are in a movie theater, watching an independent film dominating awards season. It enriches your life in the moment, and leaves an impression so intimate you cannot easily forget it. There is no other book like Refugee Hotel on your shelf. You should remedy that soon.” —SF Weekly

“[Stabile]’s layered compositions (and reflections) often convey the refugees’ disorientation. In other photographs, isolated refugees seem to emerge from the shadows of their unfamiliar surroundings, physically and mentally displaced and lost in their own thoughts. The mix of emotions and sense of shock are almost palpable.” —TIME

“The stories are raw and the images are complex. The authors avoid trying to portray an overall “refugee experience” shared by the approximately 64,000 displaced people who enter the U.S. and Canada each year. Instead, the book is a kaleidoscope of voices and imagery that celebrates the individuality of each new American.” —The Atlantic

“Photographer Stabile and journalist Linderman present the images and words of refugees to the U.S. in this compact, beautiful volume.” —Publisher’s Weekly


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