Ed Husain, author of The Islamist, grew up in a middle class immigrant family in London. In his memoir, he traces his path from primary school in the multicultural East End to his years in college as a religious extremist. After renouncing extremism, Husain moved to the Middle East, where, to his surprise, he felt stronger ties to the British society than ever before. Horrified by the July 7, 2005, terrorist attacks in London, Husain returned home to warn others about the dangers of religious extremism.
Many immigrants who identify strongly with the multiple aspects of their heritage balance many aspects of their traditions and cultures. Indian-American author Jhumpa Lahiri has lived most of her life in two cultures and shares the challenges that arise growing up feeling neither completely Indian or American. This audio reading is excerpted from her article "My Two Lives."