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"Afterlife" is the first adult novel in almost 15- years by Julia Alvarez - the bestselling author of In the "Time of the Butterflies" and "How the García Girls Lost Their Accents." "Afterlife" is a compact yet deeply felt novel that speaks to grief, our broken society, and the questions of what we owe to each other, ourselves, and our larger community.

Esmeralda Santiago, a founding mother of Nuyorican literature, was part of the University at Albany’s: The Creative Life: Conversation Series in the Fall of last year.

The eldest in a family of 11 children, Santiago came to the States from Puerto Rico at the age of 13. After eight years of part-time study in community colleges, she transferred to Harvard where she graduated magna cum laude. Santiago’s bestselling 1993 memoir, "When I Was Puerto Rican," was named one of the “Best Memoirs of a Generation” by Oprah’s Book Club. Her second memoir, "Almost a Woman" was adapted for Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Her epic 2011 novel, "Conquistadora," set in 19th century Puerto Rico, was hailed as a “triumph” in The Washington Post.

The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with WAMC produced with major support from the University at Albany Foundation.

This conversation was recorded on November 8th, 2018 at the University at Albany Campus Center Ballroom.

Helen Klein Ross and book cover for "The Latecomers"
Author photo by John Gruen

Helen Klein Ross is a poet and novelist whose new novel, “The Latecomers,” tells the story of an Irish immigrant, an ancestral home in New England and the dark secrets hidden in its walls for generations. Interweaving timelines span an American century, from 1899 to present day.

Artist and author, Hudson Talbott, join us now to tell us about his new book, “Picturing America: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Art.”

It is a fascinating look at artist Thomas Cole's life and takes young readers from his humble beginnings to his development of a new painting style that became America's first formal art movement: the Hudson River school of painting.

Hudson Talbott depicts the immigrant artist falling in love with, and fighting to preserve, his new country.

Talbott has written and illustrated more than 20 children’s books, including Newbery Honor winner “Show Way,” ALA Notable Book and VOYA Honor Book “Leonardo’s Horse” (by Jean Fritz), and “We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story,” which was adapted into an animated film by Steven Spielberg.

In her documentary film “Hot to Trot,” Hudson Valley based filmmaker, Gail Freedman, brings her audience into the world of same-sex ballroom dancing -- and into the lives of several dancers.

“Hot to Trot” will screen at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, New York on October 6 and at the Rosendale Theatre in Rosendale, New York on October 21. Gail Freedman will be in attendance for both screenings.

In more than 20 years as an award-winning filmmaker, Freedman has produced, directed and written dozens of documentaries on a wide range of subjects, through her company, Parrot Productions. She has also taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Among her films is Making the 9/11 Memorial, a primetime special for The History Channel, which aired on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, when the Memorial opened. Her creative output encompasses independent projects, as well as extensive work for PBS, network television, cable, syndication and the Internet, along with educational and non-profit films.

Jacqueline Schwab
www.jacquelineschwab.com

On Thursday, September 20 the Guilderland Public Library in Guilderland, New York will present the concert “I Lift My Lamp: Vintage Songs and Dances of Immigrant America” performed by Ken Burns’ pianist Jacqueline Schwab. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Calling ahead for reservations is advised - (518) 456-2400.

Jacqueline Schwab is noted for her evocative playing on the soundtracks of documentary filmmaker Ken Burns’ “Civil War,” “Baseball,” “Mark Twain,” “Frank Lloyd Wright,” “The War” and others. She has long played for English country dancing with the Bare Necessities quartet; has released four solo recordings; and has performed concerts of vintage American music in almost every state of the Union.

Author Photo - Michael Lionstar

Amitava Kumar’s second novel, “Immigrant, Montana,” is a literary immigrant tale with a provocative modern edge, one that fuses story and reportage, anecdote and annotation, and picture and text.

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich is a successful restaurateur, the author of many best-selling cookbooks, and the Emmy award-winning host of public television's "Lidia's Kitchen," which also airs internationally. She is also a judge on MasterChef Junior Italy and Italy's highly rated daily program "La Prova del Cuoco." 

Lidia's story begins with her upbringing in Pula, a formerly Italian city turned Yugoslavian under Tito's communist regime. She enjoys a childhood surrounded by love and security, despite the family's poverty, learning everything about Italian cooking from her beloved grandmother, Nonna Rosa. When the communist regime begins investigating the family, they flee to Trieste, Italy, where they spend two years in a refugee camp waiting for visas to enter the United States -- an experience that will shape Lidia for the rest of her life.

Her new memoir is "My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food."

Composite photo by Dave Lucas/WAMC

New York is renewing a program that helps low-income immigrants cover the costs associated with applying for U.S. citizenship.

In fewer than three hundred words, Khizr Khan electrified viewers around the world when he took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And when he offered to lend Donald Trump his own much-read and dog-eared pocket Constitution, his gesture perfectly encapsulated the feelings of millions.

Khizr Khan's new book is "An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice."

Frustrated about  an incident involving Burmese immigrants and an Albany Police officer, members of the South Asian community in the Capital Region gathered Monday.

Sebastian Barry is one of the most prominent Irish writers of his generation. In his latest novel, Days without End, he explores America through the eyes of a young Irish immigrant fighting in the great wars of the mid-19th century.

It’s about war, immigration, and the violent making of America, but also a moving love story between two gay men. 

Matt Biddulph/Flickr

A New York state senator from Westchester County is introducing legislation to create community police liaisons to build trust with immigrant communities. The effort comes after county legislators earlier this week failed to override a veto of an immigrant protection bill.

Courtesy of the Office of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino

The Westchester County executive Wednesday issued an executive order on immigration, calling it a compromise after vetoing immigrant protection legislation passed by the Board of Legislators. A supporter of the bill says the order may not protect immigrants as intended.

WAMC

    Activists rallied in Massachusetts today to protest immigrant detention legislation filed by Governor Charlie Baker. 

In How May I Help You?: An Immigrant's Journey from MBA to Minimum Wage, Deepak Singh chronicles his downward mobility as an immigrant to a small town in Virginia. Armed with an MBA from India, Singh can get only a minimum-wage job in an electronics store. Every day he confronts unfamiliar American mores, from strange idioms to deeply entrenched racism.

Safe... For Now

Mar 9, 2017
Time Warner Cable News

Columbia County residents who feared a local woman would be deported are breathing a sigh of relief.

Fannie Flagg is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café and A Redbird Christmas.

Her latest novel, The Whole Town’s Talking, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways.

Imbolo Mbue, Cameroonian-American, will read from her highly anticipated first novel Behold the Dreamers, on Thursday, October 6 at 8:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center on UAlbany’s uptown campus.

Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. the author will hold an informal seminar in the Assembly Hall of the Campus Center on the UAlbany uptown campus.

Mbue’s appearance is the first event in a series “The New Americans: Recent Immigrant Experiences in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Film,” which examines the lives of recent immigrant groups in the United States, the challenges they face, and their contributions and achievements.

The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, University Auxiliary Services, and UAlbany’s College of Arts & Sciences and School of Public Health.

  Colm Tóibín is one of Ireland’s foremost living novelists and journalists. His most recent novel is Nora Webster, which the Los Angeles Times said “may actually be a perfect work of fiction.”

He also wrote the novel, Brooklyn, which was made into a successful film nominated this year for an Oscar for Best Picture.