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Fathers and sons




A Journalist Goes Back to the Farm

Investigative reporter Howard Kohn has covered stories like the Patty Hearst kidnapping and the death of Karen Silkwood. When his father's health started to fail, Kohn decided to move back to the family farm in Michigan. His new memoir, The Last Farmer, documents that experience, and considers the relationship between parents and their adult children.


Catching Up with Mercer Ellington

Band leader and composer Mercer Ellington is the son of Duke Ellington, and leads the Duke Ellington Band. As a young man, Mercer Ellington played trombone, French horn and trumpet in his father's ensemble. Two recent Mercer Ellington albums have won wide acclaim: "Digital Duke" and "For Ellington," performed by the Modern Jazz Quartet.


Spy Novelist John Le Carre

Le Carre is the pseudonym of writer David Cromwell, who used to be a spy himself. His newest novel, The Russia House, considers the glasnost reforms of the Soviet Union's Gorbachev administration. Some of Le Carre's past novels include The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Little Drummer Girl, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.


Father and Son Comedians Tell All

Bob Elliott was half of the comedy team Bob and Ray; his son Chris appears regularly on the Late Show with David Letterman. They've written a joint memoir called Daddy's Boy, in which Chris recounts a childhood memory, and Bob offers his rebuttal.


Composer and Film Family Patriarch Carmine Coppola

Coppola has written the music for several films of his son, Francis Ford Coppola, including the Godfather I and II. He has written a new score for the silent film Napoleon; he'll soon conduct a live performance of that music during a screening at Radio City Music Hall.


Li-Young Lee Discusses His Childhood and Poetry.

Poet Li-Young Lee. He was born into a family of political refugees from China. They traveled throughout Asia for years to escape persecution. In the mid-60's his family moved to Pennsylvania. Lee's poems reflect his struggle with his Chinese heritage - a heritage to which he is bound but in which he never lived. His poems also reflect Lee's attempt to come to terms with the powerful and mythic figure of his father, who was alternately imprisoned and revered for his beliefs.


Catching Up with Mercer Ellington.

Band leader and composer Mercer Ellington. He's the son of Duke Ellington and now perpetuates the big band tradition his father made famous as head of the Duke Ellington Band. When he was a young man, Mercer Ellington had hoped to break into his father's band on the saxophone. But after years of frustration, he could see that he would never crack the legendary Ellington reed section. He finally was accepted as a trombone player and later played french horn and trumpet. With the death of his father in 1974, Mercer Ellington took over his father's orchestra.


Dmitri Nabokov Discusses His Famous Father.

Dmitri Nabokov. Son of writer Vladimir Nabokov and a writer himself, as well as a translator of his father's works. He has just edited a volume of his father's letters dating from 1940-1977. The letters trace Nabokov's struggles beginning with his arrival in America from Russia, to his legal battles over censorship of his most famous novel, "Lolita."


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