August 21, 1991 |
Sin, semiotics and sucking the heads off crawfish were among the lifelong preoccupations of Walker Percy, as we discover in "Signposts in a Strange Land," a fat and satisfying anthology of the late novelist's essays, public addresses, letters, interviews and other literary ephemera.
March 19, 1995 |
When she temporarily walks out, Henry's wife, Lelia, hands him "a list" of who he is. She writes, among other things: "You are surreptitious . . . B plus student of life . . . illegal alien . . . emotional alien . . . genre bug . . . yellow peril: neo-American . . . stranger . . . follower . . . traitor. . . ." Like the author, Chang-rae Lee, Henry is a Korean-American. Instead of a writer he is a spy; but it is clear that his spy condition is more important as a symbol than as a plot element.
August 17, 1994 |
Hollywood can be a tough and skeptical town--particularly if you arrive here without a Rolodex or a road map to the lay of the land. It is peculiar in that even an industry outsider can be both a stranger in a strange land and an instant "player," just by breaking into the business in the right job. A month ago, Michael Lynton, 34, a Harvard-educated, ambitious executive from New York's literary community working for Walt Disney Co.'
April 25, 1993 |
To Domenico Troisi--a 13-year-old Italian boy who had just crossed a vast ocean to escape poverty-stricken Naples--that first view of the Statue of Liberty was dazzling. A new world bulging with opportunity reached out to my future grandfather as his steamship entered New York Harbor.
September 27, 1992 |
I get homesick. And that's funny because I've never left Los Angeles long enough to miss it. Instead, it has left me. I was born in a ramshackle A-frame in Watts proper. Those days, at the end of World War II, one whispered the name Watts. It was synonymous with violence, death, drugs, gang warfare and the worst "culturally deprived" colored/ Negro stereotypes. But most folks, like my parents, were decent, hard-working and law-abiding.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 1999 |
In her native India, Usha Jain was known for talking too much. Friends and relatives said she ought to keep quiet, that no man would marry a woman who spoke in public the way she did. Here in the United States, where she has lived for the last 30 years, Jain is paid to speak. She travels throughout Orange County sharing stories of what it's like for a woman from India to adapt to the strange, funny and sometimes frightening ways of America.
March 25, 2004 |
"My goal was to go back to basics and find the joy of believing in a story no matter what," says Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier about his latest project, "Dogville." "If someone tells you a story, you have to make an effort to believe in it. "And when you do, it can really be good." That the experience can also be perverse, exhilarating, explosively un-P.C. and unforgettable, it goes without saying.
February 13, 1999 |
Storm clouds gathered ominously over Leonardo DiCaprio. He was aboard a luxury yacht, moored off this idyllic island in the Andaman Sea, resting between scenes of a $45-million 20th Century Fox movie, "The Beach." Minutes ago the hot sun shone in a cobalt blue sky; the glass-smooth sea's clear waters were turquoise, turning to jade green in the shallows near Phi Phi Le, where they lapped at fine whitish sand. Just another day in paradise, right? Not quite.
January 11, 1987 |
When you've spent all your life in the same country, you don't notice things that to foreigners seem both strange and remarkable. Few Americans, for instance, walk around saying, "Hey, we live in a classless society." But, to people who come to California from more stratified and traditional countries, the marvel of that achievement is exceeded only by the fact that our telephone system works.
July 27, 2012 |
Let the games begin. Oh, you thought we meant the Olympic Games ? No, we meant the travel games - the ones we sometimes discover we're not as good at as we thought we were. Usually we don't discover that until we're strangers in a strange land - at least, I don't. Visitors to London , whether they're there for the Olympics or they're going after the crowds die down, may not experience the kind of culture shock as when they travel to, say, a country where English isn't the first language and the customs are totally different.