This class examines novels that trouble the boundaries between nations or states. In books by bestselling authors such as Art Spiegelman, Edwidge Danticat, Louise Erdrich, Mohsin Hamid, and Ruth Ozeki, we encounter stories of global itinerancy, questions about identity, family, and the past, and narratives of a search for home. Some of these themes may seem familiar to readers of “ethnic,” “immigration,” or “coming-of-age” stories.  At the same time, these works often break through established or familiar boundaries, engaging with terror, violence, and risk at the borders of self, nation, and literary form. In works by Spiegelman, Danticat, and Erdrich, characters experience conflicts between home and nation as they move toward identifying as “American.” Characters in works by Hamid and Ozeki more fully inhabit “America” before traveling physically or imaginatively away from the US to “home” countries. These different dynamics make visible the complexities of life at borders and draw attention to different literary strategies as well.