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Race, Identity & Culture

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10:00

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin on Modern Orchestras.

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin (Ya-hoo-dee Men-you-in). Menuhin's career began early: he was a child prodigy and made his debut in 1924 when he was seven. Since then, he has toured extensively and developed into one of America's most celebrated violinists. In recent years, he has become almost as well known for his deep interest in art, politics, psychology and philosophy. (Interview by Faith Middleton).

27:28

Former Neo-Nazi Thomas Martinez Discusses His Past.

Thomas Martinez. His book Brotherhood of Murder, details his involvement with The Order, the extremist, right wing hate group that was implicated in numerous bank robberies and three assassinations, including the murder of Denver talk show host Alan Berg. The book details how Martinez, who grew up in a white slum in Philadelphia, was persuaded by The Order's teachings and how he was recruited for the criminal activities that supported the group. He later turned informant for the FBI.

28:06

Cinematographer Chris Menges Makes His Directorial Debut.

Cinematographer and director Chris Menges. His new film, "A World Apart," opens soon. The film deals with the relationship between a white woman, politically committed to the fight against apartheid in South Africa, and her 13-year-old daughter's attempts to understand the political choices her mother has made. Menges is Britain's foremost cinematographer and the winner of two Oscars for his camera work on "The Killing Fields" and "The Mission." "A World Apart" is his first feature film as a director.

09:48

White South Africans Who Fought Apartheid.

Screenwriter Shawn Slovo. Her first film, "A World Apart," is the autobiographical story of the relationship between a white woman, committed to fighting apartheid, and her 13-year-old daughter, who is struggling to cope with the political choices her mother has made. Slovo's parents were early members of the outlawed African National Congress; Her mother reported on the injustices of apartheid for alternative newspapers, while her father defended blacks in the court system. Slovo's mother was murdered in exile by a parcel bomb.

09:41

M. Butterfly Playwright David Henry Hwang

Hwang's celebrated play dealt with Western ideas of women and Asian culture. His newest work is a musical about alien abductions called 1000 Airplanes on the Roof. Philip Glass composed the music.

09:25

Seeking Authenticity in Chinese American Literature

Frank Chin is critical of many other contemporary Asian American writers; their works, he says, rely too much on western forms, cater to white audiences, and misrepresent Asian culture. His new collection of short stories, The Chinaman Pacific & Frisco R.R. Co, reveals his own perspectives on the Chinese American experience.

09:52

Novelist Amy Tan on Mothers and Daughters

Tan's first novel is called The Joy Luck Club, which is about a group of Chinese mothers who try to understand their American-born daughters. She joins Fresh Air to discuss her relationship with her own mother, and her mother's home country.

28:00

Memoirist Maxine Hong Kingston on Her First Novel

Kingston's new book, Tripmaster Monkey, is about a fifth-generation Chinese American man in the 1960s, who tries to find a balance between his two cultures. She joins Fresh Air to talk about her life as a first-generation immigrant, her relationship with her mother, and how she developed her voice as a storyteller.

22:18

Wayne Wang's Films Explore the Chinese American Experience.

Filmmaker Wayne Wang. With the films "Chan is Missing," "Dim Sum," and "Slam Dance" to his credit, Wang is the first Chinese-American film director to make an impact in the American film industry. Wang has focussed his work around the problems of identity and assimilation, and other issues in the lives of Chinese-American immigrants. He made his first film, "Chan is Missing," on a budget of only $22,000, but the mystery set in San Francisco's Chinatown became both a critical and box-office success.

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