Immigration Anxiety: Tamar Merin’s “What Are You Looking At?”


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Tamar Merin is a writer, critic, and literary scholar. In her story “What Are You Looking At?”, the act of a mother and son going for ice cream becomes an exploration of the anxiety of immigration, the shock of living in a new land.

Here is an excerpt from the story:

He did that in America too, forbade me to speak to him in Hebrew when I came to pick him up from the schoolyard, after I got tired of chatting with the full-time mothers, the stay-at- home moms, Jane or Kendra or Patience, with their eyes wide open with admiration. How many mothers like me did they get a chance to meet, the kind that drag their entire family to the ends of the earth for the sake of their career, or what’s left of it now as we trudge down King George Street in the dead heat of August and my son won’t budge from the traffic island?

Text:
“What are you Looking At?” by Tamar Merin. Translated by Ari Leiberman.

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