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Praise for Go Back to Where You Came From

Praise for Go Back to Where You Came From

"When Wajahat Ali's Go Back to Where you Came From isn't blisteringly funny, it's a deep tender-hearted meditation on being Brown in America. Critical yet never cynical, Ali's memoir is a joyful revelation."


"Go Back is a tour de force coming of age tale of homeland and belonging. This book is required reading for anyone concerned with how America came to this moment of promise and of impasse; and about where on earth we go from here."

—JONATHAN METZL, author of Dying of Whiteness

"Go Back To Where You Came From is an American story shorn of its legends. Powerful. Funny. Biting in its honest criticism and hopeful in the end. In telling his story, Wajahat Ali helps us imagine this country anew—the book is an amazing gift in these troubling times."

—EDDIE S. GLAUDE, JR., author of Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

"The world needs more truth tellers like Wajahat Ali who can educate us all with love and humor. As you laugh throughout this book, you will also learn that this most imperfect nation has yet to fully accept its own truths."

—JULIO RICARDO VARELA, founder, Latino Rebels

"Nuanced yet hilarious, brave and bracingly revealing, GO BACK is so entertaining that one forgets how much one learns as one races through its pages."

—CARLA POWER, author of Home, Land, Security: Deradicalization and the Journey Back from Extremism

“Raw, funny, honest, and most important, all-American”

—KIM GHATTAS, author of Black Wave

"A classic --coming of age as a model minority before a terrorist attack makes white America turn on you and then Donald Trump turns your people into a punching bag so you have to fight back-- story. You'll laugh through the rage."

—ELIE MYSTAL, Justice Correspondent, The Nation.

“Wajahat Ali’s memoir is moving and powerful because Ali tells the difficult truths about his life, family, and heartbreaks. Yes, the book is funny, smart, and insightful, but I read it from beginning to end because Ali’s story broke my heart, then inspired me to rise again and repair."

—MIN JIN LEE, author of Pachinko, a finalist for the National Book Award.

"This book is a tour de force—equal parts tragedy and laugh-out-loud comedy. With brazen wit, rigorous analysis, and searing insight, Wajahat Ali speaks to the first generation American’s dilemma of being both 'us' and 'them.'"

—SULEIKA JAOUAD, journalist and NYT bestselling author of Between Two Kingdom

"A compelling, harrowing account of growing up brown in America. Also, a love letter to that same America. I couldn't put it down."

—GENE YANG, author of the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel American Born Chinese

"Ali has written a brilliant, poignant, and urgent memoir of the immigrant American experience in his authorial debut, interweaving his personal history with the history of how America has treated its Muslim citizens."

—RABIA CHAUDRY, attorney and NY Times Bestselling author of Adnan's Story and the upcoming Fall 2022 release Fatty Fatty Boom Boom, published by Algonquin.

"Go Back is so brilliant and fearless and heartfelt — and so, so funny on top of all of that."

—BLAIRE ERSKINE, comedian and staff writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live!

"A book of great warmth and humanity. All the bigots in the world cannot take away Wajahat Ali's sense of humor and his faith, as a first-generation American, in the promise of this country. An inspiring work."

—RUTH BEN-GHIAT, author of Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present

"At Spy magazine, our mission/motto was Smart Fun Funny Fearless. We also endeavored to be charming and unique. GO BACK is all those things, plus useful."

—KURT ANDERSEN, author of Fantasyland: How American Went Haywire and Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America

"With wit and charm, Ali has delivered a masterful meditation on growing up brown in America. Go Back is an intoxicating rejection of cynicism in the face of existential threats to multiracial democracy."

—MARA GAY, Journalist and member of The New York Times editorial board and MSNBC political analyst.

"I love a good Trojan Horse and this book offers all the satire and political commentary one hopes for but not without delivering a tremendously earnest gut punch to the soul."

—THI BUI, American Book Award-winning author of The Best We Could Do 

"Funny is what gets into the heart, and Wajahat Ali has written an unflinchingly honest and hilarious book. This is a book of our times and for our times, and I’m grateful to have read it."

—JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS, founder of Define American and bestselling author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen

"This book is―appropriately enough―Wajahat in book form: smart, hilarious, very into food, and deeply empathetic. He’s the very best of America, and this book can help you be too."

—FRANKLIN LEONARD, founder of The Blacklist

"A heartfelt, funny, and at times justifiably scathing memoir of growing up in an America in perpetual crisis. Wajahat Ali gives a unique view of American life over the past twenty years, one informed by his Muslim immigrant heritage but which captures the hope and hurt familiar to any American of his generation."

—SARAH KENDZIOR, Hidden in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump

"I tore through this hilarious and moving and truthful book. There’s so much here about horrible luck and facing crisis after crisis, so it’s incredible how funny and full of compassion this book is."

—MEGHA MAJUMDAR, author of Burning

"Loved it. GO BACK is a brilliant critique of America & an honest story of what it means to be American."

—JOE WALSH, Host, "White Flag with Joe Walsh,” and Former Candidate for President.

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