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  • Algonquin Books

Love Across Borders: Passports, Papers, and Romance in a Divided World

Anna Lekas Miller

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Biography: historical, political & military, Migration, immigration & emigration, Central government policies, Political activism, Dating, relationships, living together & marriage

"Modern Love" and "90 Day Fiance" meet the immigration debate in this deeply reported memoir about couples around the world-including the author and her husband-kept apart by arbitrary border laws.

We are told that love conquers all, but what happens when you don't have the right passport?

With deep empathy, rigorous reporting, and the irresistible perspective of a true romantic, journalist Anna Lekas Miller tells the stories of couples around the world who must confront Kafkaesque immigration systems to be together-as she did to be with her partner.

Written with suspenseful storytelling worthy of the greatest love stories, Love Across Borders takes readers across contentious frontiers around the world, from Turkey to Iraq, Syria to Greece, Mexico to the United States, to reveal the widespread prejudicial laws intent on dividing people. Lekas Miller tells her own story of meeting and falling deeply in love with Salem Rizk, in Istanbul, where they were both reporting on the Syrian War. But when Turkey started cracking down on refugees, Salem, who is Syrian, wasn't allowed to stay in the country, nor could he safely return to Syria. He was a man without a country. So Lekas Miller had to decide her next move: she has an American passport, but deep personal ties to the Middle East, and knew it was unfair that Salem couldn't travel freely the way she could. More important, she loved him.

Over the next few years, as they navigated Salem's asylum claims, the United States' Muslim ban, and labyrinthine regulations in several different countries, Lekas Miller learned about-and bonded with-other people whose spouses had been deported, who found love in refugee camps, whose differing immigration statuses caused complicated power dynamics and financial hardship or threatened the wellbeing of their children. Here, offering a uniquely diverse, international, and intimate look at the global immigration crisis, she interweaves these rich, complicated love stories with a fascinating look at the history of passports (a surprisingly recent institution), the legacy of colonialism, and the discriminatory laws shaping how people move through the world every day.

Ultimately, she builds a powerful, moving case for a borderless society-one where a border patrol agent can't keep anyone's love story from its happy ending.

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