Dinaw Mengestu's How to Read the Air is an unsentimental meditation on the immigrant experience and the illusory idea of asylum. With lyrical prose, he reassesses the by-your-bootstraps mythology associated with American mobility.
Widely considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Andre Agassi admitted in his autobiography that he hates tennis, "with a dark and secret passion." Always has. He spoke to Terry Gross last November about what he calls the "contradictions" at the core of his life.
This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 11, 2009. Andre Agassi's autobiography 'Open' was recently released in paperback.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario talks about her new book, Enrique's Journey, which traces the path of a young boy from Honduras to the U.S. as he reunites with his mother. Nazario found that 48,000 children, some as young as 7, make the journey alone each year.
Tan's first novel, The Joy Luck Club, is the story of four Chinese women who gather to gossip and play mah jong, and of the rebellious ways of their Americanized daughters. The story parallels Tan's own life. Her mother left China in 1952, and Tan grew up torn between her mother's culture of the past and her American surroundings of the present. (Rebroadcast)
British-Asian film-maker Gurinder Chadha is making her feature-film debut with the new comedy-drama, "Bhaji on the Beach," a movie in the British social realist tradition, about three Asian women on a day trip to a working class resort in England. Chadha is of Indian descent; she was born in Kenya, but has lived in Britain most of her life. She formed her own independent production company, Umbi Films, in 1990 which produced three documentaries for television. "Bhaji on the Beach," has recently made the round of film festivals
Journalist Soledad Santiago and her children were homeless fourteen years ago. From there she went on to become a journalist and she headed the press office for New York State Controller Ned Regan. She talks to Terry about her life, about raising children in a dangerous urban environment, and the difficult choices she's had to make. Her new novel is called "Room 9." (Perfect Crime Press).