Refugee Hotel

About the Book

Refugee Hotel is a groundbreaking collection of photography and interviews that documents the arrival of refugees in the United States. Powerful 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.

Note: This book is currently out of print.

Narrators Include:

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 Photographer & Editor:

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.

Praise for Refugee Hotel:

The stories are raw and the images are complex… a kaleidoscope of voices and imagery that celebrates the individuality of each new American.

Julie Turkewitz for The Atlantic 

Stark and full of yearning.

Phil Bicker for Time Magazine 

Exploring the subjects’ often complex perceptions of the United States and the conflicts presented by becoming American, the book reflects a nuanced image of the country itself.

Jennifer Day for the Chicago Tribune

Related Resources

View the Lesson Plans
The lessons use oral history to promote a nuanced understanding of refugees in the United States.
Book Club Discussion Questions
Use these questions to encourage meaningful conversations about the book.
Review in Time Magazine
Read Phil Bicker’s review here in Time Magazine.
Review in Library Journal
Read Gabriele Stabile’s review here in Library Journal.

Media Coverage