As Congress considers a groundbreaking immigration reform bill, one Chicagoland resident Releases an intimate portrayal of his incredible journey to America. After 20 years of writing, a local prominent attorney Tony Mankus officially releases a memoir, entitled Where Do I Belong? An Immigrant’s Quest for Identity. The memoir sheds light on the human element of the immigration experience, an issue we often lose sight of among the heated political rhetoric surrounding this issue.
The captivating memoir outlines an emotional quest for identity in the context of the author’s immigrant experience. It traces parts of his life after he and his family were forced to leave their native Lithuania during the latter stages of WWII. It includes some childhood recollections of Lithuania (the author was only 5 when they left), their survival efforts during the final months of WWII in Germany, their experiences after the war in the DP camp in Kempten, Allgäu, immigration to the US in 1950, and the author’s teen years growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
The memoir continues with the author’s efforts to make it as an adult in America and deal with cultural conflicts, identity issues, and feeling of not really “belonging”. It concludes, finally, with the sense that he was beginning to blend into mainstream America, especially after he, his wife, and their four daughters visited the newly independent Lithuania in 2003 and 2005 – a closing of the circle, of sorts.
Tony Mankus, the author, is an attorney in private practice with his wife, Margarita Marchan-Mankus, who is also an attorney. They have four adult daughters: Clarissa, Camille, Margarita, and Ariana. Clarissa is a manager with Northwest Mutual, a large financial services company in Milwaukee; Camille is a graphic designer with Bloomberg in New York City; Dr. Margarita is a Resident at the UIC Hospital in Chicago; and 1st Lt. Ariana, a 2013 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, is stationed in Ft. Lewis, near Seattle.