The debut writer's first book of short stories is "The Boy Without a Flag: Tales of The South Bronx." It's an autobiographical collection about the people in his neighborhood. He has said, "I write about the rancid underbelly of the American Dream." He's also in a punk rock band called Urgent Fury.
Vasquez's new movie, "Hangin' With The Homeboys," is a semi-autobiographical movie about growing up in the South Bronx. He talks to Terry Gross about relations between Latinos and African Americans in his neighborhood; Vasquez is biracial, and is part of both traditions.
Novelist and screenwriter Richard Price. Price lists as influences Lenny Bruce, Dion, James Brown, and movies and TV. His first two novels, "The Wanderers," and "Bloodbrothers" were both made into films. Price was disappointed with the screen adaptations of those stories, and that experience led him to try his hand at screenwriting.
Artist-teacher Tim Rollins and his student Carlos Rivera. In collaboration with his South Bronx high-school students Rollins has created "excellent...slightly miraculous art." ("New York" Magazine). Since 1981, the group known as K.O.S. (for Kids of Survival -- mostly black and Puerto Rican students), has had showings of its work in over 50 shows. Now there's a showing of their own, "Amerika," in New York.
Author Kate Simon. Simon is best known for her travel books (Kate Simon's Paris, New York: Places and Pleasures) and for her two vivid memoirs of coming of age in the New York City of the 1920s and 30s. The first, Bronx Primitive: Portraits in a Childhood, portrays the immigrant neighborhoods just after World War I. In the second, A Wider World: Portraits in an Adolescence, Simon recalls her tumultuous adolescence as she discovered the world beyond the neighborhoods of her youth.
Novelist and screenwriter Richard Price is inspired by comedians, singers, television, and movies. He published his first novel, "The Wanderers," when he was 24 years old. He began writing screenplays after being disappointed by the film adaptations of his first two novels. His most recent novel was 1984's "The Breaks." Since then he has been writing the screenplay for Martin Scorsese's upcoming film sequel to "The Hustler," "The Color of Money."