May 21, 1999

Away From Home

Stories of people going home to places they've never been before.


Host Ira Glass with Eddy Harris. The first time Eddie set foot in a black nation in Africa, a man at the border found out he was an American—a black American—and said "Welcome home." But Eddy Harris says the Motherland doesn't really feel much like home. He describes his year-long trip through Africa, and how it all came to a head on a river trip in Zaire. He recounts the trip in his book Native Stranger: A Black American's Journey into the Heart of Africa. (5 minutes)
Act One


Twenty-six-year-old Jose William Huezo Soriano—a.k.a. Weasel—grew up in Los Angeles. Under new sentencing laws, he got deported to his parents' home country of El Salvador, a country he has not seen since he was five years old. He has no memories of the country, no immediate family there, and people have a hard time understanding his Spanish. He records an audio diary of his life in exile for radio producer Joe Richman, part of Joe's Radio Diaries series. (26 minutes)
Act Two

Brothers Of Different Mothers

In this act we hear two stories of people who stumbled upon a place where they instantly and instinctively felt more at home than in their real homes. Stephen Dubner, author of the memoir Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return to His Jewish Family, talks about an encounter with a Jewish man named Irving that changed his life. Then Hungarian radio producer Anna Lengyl has an interview with two people who simply decided that they had more in common with each other than either had with anyone else. Finding a home where you've never been—it's a lot like falling in love. (23 minutes)