So, this is pretty exciting news. I’m going to be featured in this book, _Little America_, coming out March 17th. (Just two weeks after my Sri Lankan cookbook comes out, coincidentally enough.) Subtitle: “Incredible True Stories of Immigrants in America.”
It was a LONG process getting here. First they contacted me. Then they did hours and hours and hours of phone interviews. I mean, I really think I did at least 5 hours’ worth of interviews, over the course of a month or so. I’d answer their questions, they’d go away, and then they’d come back with more questions.
At one point, Roshani and I were actually at Geetha’s Foods in the city, picking up Sri Lankan groceries, and I ended up talking to these folks for half an hour in the parking lot, pacing around, trying to remember details from college (which was a very very long time ago).
What’s amazing about that is that the end result after all those interviews will be quite short — I think just about a page or so of text. I haven’t seen it yet, but I am hoping I didn’t say anything too dumb. They’re sending me a copy in the mail. Eep.
(They also did a photo shoot at my house. I don’t know what picture they decided to use. I haven’t actually seen any of the photos. What if I look terrible? Gah.)
The book is actually connected to a TV thing that’s launching this Friday, i.e. tomorrow, January 17. Now, don’t get too excited — I’m not on TV! They’re doing a series of episodes inspired by the series of interviews they published on their website originally. I loved those original interviews, which is why I agreed to be interviewed for the book, and I’m looking forward to checking out the TV thing.
It’ll mean getting the Apple TV+ channel, but Jed keeps telling me that For All Mankind (which is only on there) is his favorite show, so my plan is to do the 7-day free trial, check out the Little America episode, and then binge For All Mankind.
“Everyone here came from somewhere else. Even Native Americans crossed the Bering Strait at some point. This is the basic American idea — an identity open to all — but it can be easy to forget from inside. And that’s when politics can turn ugly, as it has recently, with our political narrative becoming a story of blame and fear. “Little America” is meant to counter that narrative with a fuller portrait of our most recent arrivals. Here we present just a few stories. You’ll meet a woman who kissed a car for 50 hours. A man who escaped communism via zip-line. A Hindu Mayor of a small Kansas town. These stories are a small, collective portrait of America’s immigrants. And thereby a portrait of America itself.”
More about the book: https://www.mcdbooks.com/books/little-america
Original magazine pieces you can read right now (Usha Reddi, the Indian American mayor in Kansas is v. cool, for example) — http://epicmagazine.com/littleamerica/
The Little America TV series launching tomorrow: https://apple-tv-plus-press.apple.com/…/ori…/little-america/
For All Mankind: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_All_Mankind_(TV_series)
(Russell Galen, fyi.)