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30 Segments




Former Senator James G. Abourezk on Native and Arab Americans.

Former U.S. senator James G. Abourezk (AB-er-esk). In his new memoir, "Advise and Dissent," Abourezk tells of Arab-American heritage, his coming of age in the North Dakota Indian country, his early political days, his 8 years in Congress, and his decision not to run for re-election in 1979. These days Abourezk is an attorney in Washington, D.C., and is National Chairman of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.


Michael Dorris Discusses Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Writer Michael Dorris. He and his wife, Louise Erdrich, have written several novels together, including Love Medicine and Yellow Raft in Blue Water. Both are part Native American, and Dorris spent several years of his childhood on an Indian reservation. He has adopted many children, one of which he later discovered was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Dorris's new book, The Broken Cord, is about this syndrome, and also his personal story of dealing with it in his family.


Writer Peter Matthiessen "On the River Styx"

Matthiessen is a naturalist and novelist who co-founded The Paris Review. His nonfiction has explored Zen Buddhism and American Indians, among other topics. A new collection of his short stories, spanning his entire career, his nearly four-decade long career, just been published.


The World of "Powwow Highway" Transcends Its Story

Film critic Stephen Schiff admits he's instantly charmed by movies about unfamiliar worlds. He says the new road movie Powwow Highway, about two American Indians confronting the development of tribal lands, has promise, but is ineptly written and directed. But, somehow, Schiff didn't mind watching it.


The Rocking Music of Mardi Gras

Rock historian Ed Ward says the city has long celebrated the holiday with rock music, some of which incorporated Black Indian traditions and style.


How Culture is Inscribed in Native American Architecture

Peter Nabokov cowrote a book with Robert Easton about the dwellings of American Indians, which he uses as a lens through which to learn more about their lives and traditions. For his research, Easton lived near several reservations and visited the homes of Native American families.


Writing Other Voices

Clarence Major is an experimental, African American writer. His latest novel, Painted Turtle: Women with Guitar -- along with his last book, Such Was the Season -- uses more conventional narrative techniques. He joins Fresh Air to discuss language and storytelling in the black community.


Louis L'Amour's West.

Louis L'Amour is known as the "most famous obscure novelist." He has written 79 novels, mostly westerns. His novels have also been adapted into films such as "Hondo." L'Amour's latest novel is "Comstock Lode." He joins the show to discuss his work, western novels and films, the relationship between Native Americans and western settlers, and what he sees for the future.


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