Jean’s Pick of the Week: I never liked Spanglish – or at least I thought I didn’t until I met Susana Chávez-Silverman and heard her “code switching” between English and Spanish when she read from her two memoirs Killer Crónicas and Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles y otros Natural Disasters on Wednesday’s show. And yes, I do feel handicapped because I know only one language. If we pride ourselves on being a hybrid nation, why do we cling to monolingualism when half of the rest of the world knows how to speak two or more languages? Isn’t it time to claim with Susana the richness of all our mother tongues?
Monday: Andrei Codrescu: Romanian-born poet, writer, and long time NPR contributor, has a new book out and is in town this week for a public lecture at the University. But first, he’ll join us in-studio to talk about his experience as an immigrant writer, swimming between English and his mother tongue, and about why he’s so excited about the upcoming generation of immigrant writers and artists.
Tuesday: The Fate of Nature: As the reporter who spent more time reporting on the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska than any other journalist, Charles Wohlforth has seen a lot of human caused destruction of the environment. But in his new book The Fate of Nature, he makes the argument that our connection to other people, to animals and to wild places is even deeper than our need for material comfort. Do we have it in us to square with nature before it's too late?
Wednesday: The Sheikh’s Batmobile: Pop culture commentator Richard Poplak sets out on an unusual mission: to find out what happens to American pop culture – Hollywood sit-coms, shoot-‘em up video games, muscle cars and punk music – when they collide with the Muslim world.
Thursday: What’s Funny About Canada? Husband and wife team Kerry Colburn and Rob Sorensen have written two humorous books about Canada, our great Northern neighbor, busting—and playing with—the myth that the 2nd largest nation in the world is more of a 51st state. Join us in crossing the world’s longest border and in pledging your support to Here on Earth during the kickoff week of our Fall Pledge Drive, and the eve of Canada’s Thanksgiving Day Weekend.
Friday: Heritage Foods From the Americas: In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, food historian and blogger Frederick Douglass Opie is tracing hominy, plantains, spicy peppers, and tomatoes through the Pre-Columbian cuisines of the Aztecs, Incas, and Arawaks to today. Curried Yucca Crab Cakes with Piquillo Pepper Sauce and Mango-Papaya Chutney anyone?
I’m off to hear Kathleen Hill read from her memoir, Who Occupies This House.