I recently read and enjoyed two books of writing by Americans living abroad. The first was Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World, by Anthony Doerr. A fiction writer, Doerr won a fellowship to study in Rome and moved there for a year with his wife and twin baby boys. He wrote this short, entertaining memoir about their experience. The tone is light, with a nice mix of humor and philosophical musings. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Doerr’s experiences in and adjustment to a strange city and culture.
The second book I read was So Far and Yet So Near: Stories of Americans Abroad, edited and published by American Citizens Abroad. I found this collection of essays by Americans who have lived abroad engaging and entertaining. They cover a wide geographical spectrum and range of experience, from Europe to Southeast Asia and from foreign service workers to Peace Corps volunteers to spouses of non-Americans. There is definitely some variation in the writing skills of the authors, but overall the essays are fairly well-written. Many of them employ humor effectively and all of them conveyed a sense of what it was like for that individual to live abroad.
I had not previously read much writing of this genre, but I found it quite enjoyable. I am sure that part of my enjoyment is due to the fact that I have myself lived abroad. I found that in both books there were parts where the author described perfectly something I also have experienced. If you have lived abroad and learn more about what the experience is like, I recommend both books.