Author Dina Nayeri on breaking down stereotypes of the refugee experience

"The Ungrateful Refugee" by Dina Nayeri
"The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You" by Dina Nayeri.
Courtesy photos | Portrait by Anna Leader

When she was 8 years old, Dina Nayeri fled the Iranian revolution with her mother and brother, leaving behind her father. Her family settled in the United States, where she learned that acclimating to an adoptive country is an uphill battle.

In her first nonfiction book, “The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You,” Nayeri shares her story and that of other asylum seekers in hopes of breaking down misconceptions of the refugee experience.

The title of the book may come off as brash, but Nayeri says she is thankful for her journey and adoptive home. “We are grateful, we do love our country … but that gratitude is private. It can’t be channeled, it can’t be forced,” she said.

MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with author Dina Nayeri about her new book, “The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You,” and what it means to be a refugee.


  • Dina Nayeri, author of “The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You”

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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