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Liner Notes: War and Place

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Date and time
Thursday, May 08, 2008

Paul Holdengraber hosts an "Algonquin Roundtable" style discussion of war and place with Tom Brokaw and other thinkers of great merit aboard the Queen Mary 2. Tom Brokaw shares his memories of his moving visits to Normandy and Pearl Harbor: how they changed his life, and enabled him to understand the great sacrifices of ordinary people, from hometowns like his. Writer Maxine Hong Kingston helps Veterans put their memories on paper with "healing and writing workshops." Distinguished novelist Robert Stone, (*Dog Soldiers*) discusses the cultural legacy of Vietnam. Former Marine Wayne Karlin author of *War Movies: Journeys to Vietnam*, shares stories about soldier/authors on both sides of that conflict and discusses how the picture of war in the movies has evolved over the years. Writer Dana Sachs, (*A House on Dream Street*) portrays the new Vietnam as a tourist mecca with fine food and beaches. She counsels us on where to travel and explains why Americans are surprisingly welcome. Photographer Steve McCurry tells of his famous photo "Afghan Girl," and what he finds when he travels to war zones. Psychoanalyst Emmanuel Kalftal takes a tape recorder with him as he travels to the place his where his parents met, Dachau, and finds a living memorial, rather than a museum. Michael Arad, architect of the prize-wining design for the 9/11 memorial at the former World Trade Center, helps us think about the power of place in mourning. Phillip Gourevitch, editor of the *Paris Review*, who wrote "We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Familes", reflects on those who suffered through the ethnic conflicts in Africa. Reporter Deborah George takes us to post war Sierra Leone to meet a young woman who will become her daughter. Finally, we travel to a small town in Cornwall, England where a young evacuee from the London blitz, now 80, found a peaceful home for life. *Liner Notes* is recorded over lunch at the Captain's table aboard the legendary Queen Mary 2, where destinations as they are and as they exist in literature, painting, film, music and myth are discovered in monthly, hour-long "Algonquin Roundtable" gatherings of notable and award-winning authors, artists, journalists and musicians. Each conversation raises themes relating to travel, such as "Falling in Love with a Place", "The Benefits of Wandering," "Lost in Translation," or "Ex-Patriot Dreams." Created by Jon Kalish and Marty Goldensohn, *Liner Notes* is hosted by Paul Holdengraber, the cultural wunderkind whose literary happenings have turned the New York Public Library into a late-night hot spot, and whose public events at the Institute for Art and Cultures are renowned in Los Angeles.

Paul Holdengraber is the Director of Public Programs at the New York Public Library.
Maxine Hong Kingston is a Chinese American author and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with a BA in English in 1962. Kingston has written three novels and several works of non-fiction about the experiences of Chinese immigrants living in the United States. She has contributed to the feminist movement with such works as her memoir The Woman Warrior, which discusses gender and ethnicity and how these concepts affect the lives of women. Kingston has received several awards for her contributions to Chinese American Literature including the National Book Award in 1981 for her novel China Men. [Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxine\_Hong\_Kingston]
Robert Stone (born 1937) is a critically well regarded American novelist, whose work is typically characterized by psychological complexity, political concerns, and dark humor. In 1967 Stone published his first novel, *A Hall of Mirrors*, which won a William Faulkner Foundation award for best first novel. Set in New Orleans in 1962 and based partly on actual events, the novel depicted a political scene dominated by right-wing racism, but its style was more reminiscent of Beat writers than of earlier social realists: alternating between naturalism and stream of consciousness, with a large cast of often psychologically unstable characters, it set the template for much of Stone's later writing. It was adapted into the 1970 film, *WUSA*. The novel's success led to a Guggenheim Fellowship and began Stone's career as a professional writer and teacher. Stone currently lives in New York with his wife. He has two children.
Wayne Karlin has been called by Tim O'Brien "one of the most gifted writers to emerge from the Vietnam War." He has written four previous novels in addition to his books with curbstone: *Crossover*, *Lost Armies*, *The Extras* and *US*. Karlin co-edited the first anthology of Viet Nam war veteran fiction, *Free Fire Zone*, and in 1995, he co-edited *The Other Side of Heaven: Post War Fiction by Vietnamese and American Writers*. He is the series editor for Curbstone's *Voices from Viet Nam* series of contemporary fiction. Karlin's novel, *Prisoners*, received the Paterson Prize for Fiction. He lives in Maryland, where he teaches at the College of Southern Maryland.
Dana Sachs is a journalist specializing in topics related to Vietnam. Her work has appeared in *The Far East Economic Review*, *Mother Jones*, *Sierra*, and the *San Francisco Examiner*. In collaboration with her sister, Lynne Sachs, she made the award-winning documentary film about Viet Nam, *Which Way is East*, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She was a translator for* The Other Side of Heaven*.
Steve McCurry, recognized universally as one of today's finest image-makers, is best known for his evocative color photography. In the finest documentary tradition, McCurry captures the essence of human struggle and joy. Born in Philadelphia, Steve McCurry graduated cum laude from the College of Arts and Architecture at the Pennsylvania State University. After working at a newspaper for two years, he left for India to freelance. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Magazine Photographer of the Year, awarded by the National Press Photographers Association. This was the same year in which he won an unprecedented four first prizes in the World Press Photo contest. He has won the Olivier Rebbot Award twice. McCurry's work has been featured in every major magazine in the world and frequently appears in *National Geographic*, with recent articles on Tibet, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and the temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia.