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129 Segments




Peter Quinn Discusses the Irish American Experience.

Novelist Peter Quinn is the author of "Banished Children of Eve" about the Irish in New York City during the Civil War. He's also contributor to the new six-hour PBS series "The Irish in America: Long Journey Home" (January 26-28). There's also a companion book "The Irish in America" (Hyperion).


Journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on the Expulsion of Asians from Uganda

Alibhai-Brown describes her family's experience as Asians in Uganda in her autobiography "No Place Like Home." (Virago Press) Alibhai-Brown's family, like many others, was forced out of East Africa by president and military leader Idi Amin, twenty-five years ago. Alibhai-Brown moved to England and earned an degree in English at Oxford. Her freelance work is now published in the "Guardian," the "Observer," and the "Independent."


Writer Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on Her Debut Novel "The Mistress of Spices"

In 1995, Divakaruni's short story collection "Arranged Marriage" garnered three awards. Her new novel, "The Mistress of Spices," tells the story of a woman whose knowledge of the healing power of spices takes her on a supernatural adventure. Divakaruni teaches creative writing at Foothill College in California and is president of MAITRI, a support hotline for South Asian women.


Novelist Thomas Keneally on Australian Identity

Keneally is best known for his novel, Schindler's List which was put to film, by director Stephen Spielberg. His new novel, A River Town, is based on the story of his grandfather who left Ireland for Australia at the turn of the century. But in Australia he became the outsider. Keneally has written over 20 novels. He is a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.


Immigrant Writer Pablo Medina on Fleeing Post-Revolutionar Cuba

The Cuban-born poet and essayist has just written his first novel, "The Marks of Birth." It explores the experience of exile through the eyes of a young character whose family is forced to flee the political unrest of a Caribbean island-nation, and begin again in America. Medina has also written two collections of poems: "Pork Rind and Cuban Songs" and "Arching into the Afterlife," and a book of personal essays entitled "Exiled Memories: A Cuban Childhood."


Merchant Seaman Captain Rudolph Patzert Discusses "Running the Palestine Blockade."

Merchant Seaman Captain Rudolph Patzert. In 1947 he captained a ship that was part of a clandestine effort by the Jewish underground to smuggle Holocaust survivors into Palestine. Palestine at that time was under British rule, and a British air and sea blockade prevented immigration to the country. Patzert's ship, the Paducah, was a 45 year-old rundown converted gunboat, his crew inexperienced; and they were thwarted every step of the way: British intelligence hounded them, preventing them from refueling and re-watering.


Challenging the Limiting Images of Immigrants in Britain.

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


Writer Soledad Santiago.

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).


Immigration to L. A.

Writer David Rieff (pronounced "reef"). his new book, "Los Angeles: Capital of the Third World," looks at how the millions of poor immigrants that have come to the Los Angeles area in the past two decades have changed the shape of that city...changing it from the "City of Dreams" that's long been L.A.'s popular image, to a much poorer, problem-ridden,and diverse, place. Rieff says something similar is in store for many other American cities. (The book's published by Simon and Schuster).


Monetizing a Monument on Ellis island

Ellis Island reopens to the public soon. Commentator Maureen Corrigan shares her disappointment that she'll have to pay if she wants her grandparents' names inscribed on the new American Immigrant Wall of Honor.


Ronald Takaki Discusses the Asian American Experience.

Ronald Takaki. He's the grandson of Japanese immigrants and a professor of Ethnic Studies at Berkeley. His book, Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans, tells the diverse stories of Asian immigrants who have come to the United States during the past century and a half. Takaki relates the personal testimonies of new immigrants and their American-born children.


Margaret Randall

Writer, photographer and teacher MARGARET RANDALL. For 23 years, she lived throughout Latin and Central America, writing about the people, and in particular the lives of the women. She has published almost 50 books of poetry, prose and oral history. Since her return to the United States from an extended stay in Latin America, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has been trying to deport her. Randall and her supporters claim that is because Randall's writing is sharply critical of government policy in Central America.


A Polish Immigrant Embraces Her New Home

Book critic John Leonard reviews Eva Hoffman's new memoir, Lost in Translation, about the writer's childhood in Eastern Europe and later move to North America. Leonard says the book deserves the same praise as other literary memoirs like Nabokov's Speak, Memory and Kingston's The Woman Warrior.


A New Yorker Writer on Europe

Jane Kramer regularly writes about the culture and politics on the continent. She says immigration -- and the xenophobic response to immigrants -- has played a big part in shaping Europe's changing identity.


Walter Polovchak, "The Littlest Defector."

Walter Polovchak. Polovchak was a 12-year-old Ukrainian immigrant living with his family in Chicago, when he refused to return with them to the Soviet Union. His decision provoked a storm of controversy from his family and authorities in both countries and attracted worldwide media attention. The court battles continued for five years until Polovchak reached his 18th birthday in 1985 and was sworn in as an American citizen.


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