Journey's End Refugee Services is hosting a virtual event with Jessica Goudreau, author of After the Last Border: Two Families and the Story of Refuge in America (Viking Press), parallel stories of two women resettlling their families in Austin, Texas, one a Christian from Myanmar and the other a Muslim from Syria.  It was praised in the New York Times Book Review as "simply brilliant, both in its granular storytelling and its enormous compassion.”  Louisa Hall, author of Speak, 'read it transported, appalled, and inspired by the courage of the refugees whose stories she so vividly tells. After the Last Border should be required reading for any US Citizen: it is stories like these that allow us to understand who and what we are as a nation.' This free event will take place on Zoom; you must register with Journeys End using the following link in order to attend: https://tinyurl.com/authoreventregistration

Talking Leaves has copies of the book available for sale. You may order through this website using the book link on this page, or you may call the store (716-884-9524) to place an order. In either case you can choose to pick the book up at the front door (the store is not currently open for in store browsing) or have it mailed to you.

The welcoming and acceptance of immigrants and refugees has been central to America’s identity for centuries–yet America has periodically turned its back at the times of greatest humanitarian need. After the Last Border is an intimate look at the lives of two women as they struggle for the twenty-first century American dream, having won the “golden ticket” to settle as refugees in Austin, Texas.

Mu Naw, a Christian from Myanmar struggling to put down roots with her family, was accepted after decades in a refugee camp at a time when America was at its most open to displaced families; and Hasna, a Muslim from Syria, agrees to relocate as a last resort for the safety of her family–only to be cruelly separated from her children by a sudden ban on refugees from Muslim countries. Writer and activist Jessica Goudeau tracks the human impacts of America’s ever-shifting refugee policy as both women narrowly escape from their home countries and begin the arduous but lifesaving process of resettling in Austin, Texas–a city that would show them the best and worst of what America has to offer.

After the Last Border situates a dramatic, character-driven story within a larger history–the evolution of modern refugee resettlement in the United States, beginning with World War II and ending with current closed-door policies–revealing not just how America’s changing attitudes toward refugees has influenced policies and laws, but also the profound effect on human lives.

A portion of the royalties from book sales will be shared with “Mu Naw” and “Hasna.”

Jessica Goudeau has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Teen Vogue, among many other places, and is a former columnist for Catapult. She produced projects for Teen Vogue (“Ask a Syrian Girl”) and “A Line Birds Cannot See,” a documentary about a young girl who crossed the border into the US on her own. She has a PhD in literature from the University of Texas and served as a Mellon Writing Fellow and Interim Writing Center Director at Southwestern University. Goudeau has spent more than a decade working with refugees in Austin, TX and is the co-founder of Hill Tribers, a nonprofit that provided supplemental income for Burmese refugee artisans for seven years.


Event date: 
Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
Journey's End Refugee Services
2495 Main Street, Suite 530
Buffalo, NY 14214
After the Last Border: Two Families and the Story of Refuge in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525559139
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - August 4th, 2020