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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 26, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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>> they do ihop rumbler the generous introduction. imm writer at the "washington post" because one of the things we don't like to do is make predictions. we deal with a fax so of course, i'd like to start off tonight by making a prediction. that is is highly likely
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first latino president of the united states has been born. he or she could be an infant, second grade, high-school court in the senate. but it is clear with changes in demography, latinos will play a larger role in our dialogue. statistically in 2000 for 7.6 million latinos are said to have voted at the national level. in 2008 it jumped up at 9.7 million. now there are estimates in
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this election the number could go as high as 12 million. that number will only grow. but in some respects i think of him as a test case for how the american population relates to a latino politician. that was reason enough. in the same way to write a newspaper article the way you said up to write a book.
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was the answer i had one that came to mind after word. they were different but not mutually exclusive. what is the first answer to the question? he has better prospects of going to the white house and any other politician in history. so i thought i would read a few things to you that illustrates those answers. i will start with the answer number one.
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this took place august 2010. warren instead she hurtled to the floor, the cane flipped sideways. nancy reagan fragile in the ivory colored suit to was crashing. nobody at the library could see what was happening. they clapped but before it gave way to a gas the synapses of the senator escorting her to her seat fired. mark rubio his hair parted with the valedictory and smiled brought her toward an end caught the 90 year-old as she slanted for word parallel to the floor.
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rubio a 40 year-old move with agility that he flashed on the football field of miami. he wasn't fast they he was quick. on the football field and there is a difference. fast means running but quick means you react and get to the right spot at precisely the right time. sometimes quick is better than fast. 2011. it was clear this was a moment. the daytimes published frame by frame marco rubio to the rescue.
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they showed them smiling at each other then start change the slow motion tumble than rubio saves her. the former first lady anxiety is written on her face. bloggers who was clued about all things rubio praised him. marco rubio saves falling nancy reagan. that have been a couple of weeks before simon & schuster called me. it was on the evening news. sometimes political careers
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are a did with the serendipity of timing. being there when this icon have been to trip with the camera rolling is another example of the right place at the right time throughout his career. he ran for the senate when nobody thought he had a chance that he could run in the three person race because it splits the electorate. marco rubio became the conservative choice. everyone thought he was invincible. but he started to make
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inroads with the democrats african-american and from northern it -- northern florida was in the race. because he could present himself as the most conservative voice as he was called the most liberal republican governor in the united states. when he ran as an independent all moderates were split to. rubio, through espousing their growth captured the race. in the end he won by a lot.
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>> i did not know the demand named mr. garcia, marco rubio said grandfather. i had never heard his name before. along of a discrepancy of coming after castro i wanted to know about him because he had spoken about him. one of the things to love about washington we have very tiny little rules and a lot of them. i found out if you airborne
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100 years ago all immigration records are transferred from the u.s. immigration service to the national archives. that may not seem like a big deal but to get those records you have to make the freedom of the information act request. it is much easier at the archive. they were kept in kansas city. i looked up on the internet randomly the archivist name was in charge and i called
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her up and got to her on the phone. [laughter] she said i am so busy today. i was bracing myself. before i could get a word out she said i don't think i can get to to those records until after lunch. i said i guess i can wait. [laughter] she called back and said she found the file and would be happy to overnight it to me. i was surprised. your tax dollars at work. what arrived was a package
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filled with documents. and pretend certificates and confirmation from cuba and there were three sheep's i almost did not notice. deliverer this is the xerox by knoll disk. there was a recording part of the record. land just by coincidence or a curiosity is their final?
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she said i have no way to listen to it to. i said what if i bring a record player? that would not work out but eventually it was sent to to laboratory and those disks word transferred into computer desks i did not know what was done that recording. i had no idea. i heard the voice. and i came to know it was said judge. fennecs voice was
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unsympathetic and straightforward. and the next was the angelic childlike woman's voice. she is a translator and a fourth voice then i got a lump in my throat. i realized it was pedro victor garcia the man i had been studying about and that i come to like. coming in 1956 to the united states. that was not 100 years ago.
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he was born 1899. immigration and does not work out for everybody. we have an american dream. pedro victor garcia came to the united states with seven daughters and a wife and struggled and could not make a living. after castro took over from he thought it would become a better place. and the options would be better in cuba thin in the united states. it was clear q bell was moving to a communist day.
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bear with me. just one moment. i thought i had it marked. he bought an airplane ticket. at the airport a man who was an immigration officer stopped pedro victor garcia and told him he did not belong. it turns out to he did not have the the said. because he was out longer than one year and was viewed
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to renounce his residency. rate on biscayne boulevard called the freedom tower model after a bell tower in spain. that is where cubans were sent to get aid with their rival. but not where he was sent. this was the ellis island of the south the statue of liberty, a simple and begin but pedro victor garcia was not being sent to the began but to the justice department ims 3 miles north
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but 1 million miles away symbolically. one and represented will come in the other toward the punitive. october 1962 appeared before the immigration judge the hearing was recorded on a voice writer a machine invented by the edison company and they promised clarity in the advertisement. to final disks contain audio mouthful of scratches and pops aramark a wall artifact of another era. 33 minutes of testimony tells the story caught of immigration no man land.
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of who gets to stay in the united states and who must go. [speaking spanish] the translator instructed. raised your right hand. he said i swear in spanish. of the records pedro victor garcia sounds calm and respectable he would maintain his three cigars per day have it and ask the people on to a political party is in cuba. >> he said we don't have political parties. so he became a guiding spirit it ended a he was
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ordered deported from the united states he caught a break you're not put on a plane and sent back right away you were ordered to leave and expected to do so. a few days later but i talk about his grandson having good timing he was born under a thatched palm rubin in rural q but his mother was a litter and had polio was a child had good timing. a few days later the united states announced there were
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missiles on the island of cuba and the cuba missile crisis was on. nobody would get on a plane to go to two but deported or not. all of the airports were closed. so he lived in the united states for the next five years with no documents. not until 1967 when the climate had changed before the cuban adjustment act went into effect he could appeal for residency again and this time he got it.
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it did have a happy ending. that is one of the reasons i kept up pitcher of him on my desk but then we take some questions. 1/3 answer why marco rubio and why now and why the book came after the book was published. prior to publication markka rubio talked about the alternative dream act fed is symbolic, more than a talking point* the rallying
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point* for latinos allowing children of undocumented migrants who have lived here and then through school or doing the military to have a passive citizenship. he has suggested an alternative. and it was the huge deal. front-page of the "wall street journal." the most talked-about legislation that was not legislation in washington d.c.. well that was bubbling, president obama announced indebted states would change the deportation policy and would not deport the and children who had come to the united states
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when they were young. that was interesting affirmation the influence of the senator only in office less than two years. with how to influence policy without putting legislation down. raises questions of what it means to be the politician and particulate a republican. there is a different expectation and litmus test for the non latinos that to the politician will add year to an open door policy.
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and rubio has had criticism from not adhering to the open-door policy opposing the dream act just like using that you verify system used by employers. see will see latinos that the national level not zero may those coming into the united states legally or illegally, but the 12 million better undocumented moving forward
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what of the most interesting questions. the been the politician whose name is injected to the national consciousness that could end up on pennsylvania avenue. thank you very much. [applause] questions? >> i will stand up on tiptoe. recently somebody told me latinos from cuba our at odds from other latinos and
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do not get along. >> historic the there have been tensions within the hispanic community. people want to say american hispanics as if it was monolithic. and reality it is made up of a lot of different segments. and there are tensions sometimes between the groups. those between mexican-americans and cuban-americans there is an immigration policy that those that are at 4% of the hispanic population have a
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much easier path to viggo residency been non q been hispanics meaning what foot to/dry foot policy if you are caught at sea return to cuba. if you're caught on land without permission then you have the almost unfettered right to to be here. that is true the tension exist because that does not apply to guatemala, el salvador or mexico. >> from the ku been voting latino like mark rubio? >> possibly. looking at a person who is an attractive candidate and
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can speak spanish then it could get down to something you want it to which this policy position. it is very curious. the assumption the number the assumption the number one issue is a migration. policy position. it is very curious. the assumption the number one issue is a migration. but consistently in the polls, economy, jobs, health care has been listed higher with latinos they and immigration. the question is if it is a litmus test to begin with. . .
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immediately ingratiating themselves with people through shared charisma. you can call it an x factor for mojo, but what ever this, he
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certainly has it. he's also a person who might think in washington is becoming a little more cautious. he came up through pretty rough and tumble politics in florida. south florida can be tough. he was somebody there was a very public person for years before becoming a national figure, and i think that he is learning that when expectations of you are very, very high like they are for him, every single word that you say will be parsed, and so in washington he hasn't been one of these senators who is very much a part of the social world of capitol hill. several have remarked on that. he's not the one who is out on the boat with the rest of the
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boys. >> many of the people don't want to use the word spanning. i don't know what that means really. they work and very hard. they do the jobs that nobody else wants to do and many of them are here illegally, they have no health care, they cannot provide an education for children. what do these people have in common with marco rubio where he represents the most reactionary signal of the hispanic population in the united states? >> well, one thing they have in common is that they both have had undocumented people in the family.
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marco rubio's grandfather i was telling you about earlier wasn't documented for five years. but the point that you are making about the difference between people who have legal status to be in the united states and people who don't have legal status in the united states is irrelevant want to ask people might look at marco rubio and say that he has had it easier than somebody whose father came picked strawberries in california or -- i think that he's able to make a compelling case, it's more than a case really is a defining ethos he's a product of the immigrant experience. whether it is in exile experience because the family was pushed off a florida, pushed out of cuba or whether it is simply coming to a place that isn't yours, that isn't your
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home. his father was a bartender, his mother cleaned hotel rooms and stocked shelves at kmart. they're certainly part of that larger tableau in the united states whether there are a cuban-american or not. >> i was going to ask about marco rubio. what has he set in the speeches about his grandfather clocks what stuck with him so much? >> he talked about his grandfather very lovingly, and that is one of the things that first connected emotionally for me when i was beginning my research because i also have a spanish-speaking cigar smoking grandfather to me and my
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heritage is spanish. i was born in the united states when i was two and my grandfather smoked cuban cigars on the purchase when i was a little boy and when i heard what rubio talking about that it had an emotional connection and i can really see how it makes an emotional connection for people who are listening to his speeches. so he talks about his grandfather being someone that left history and left politics and left talking about all those things, and others will tell you that even at a very young age, she was interested in hearing all that stuff and they had a very deep bond and they lived together at various times both in the miami and in las vegas where the family lived for a
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little while when he was growing up. so we think it is one of the most important and foundational relationships of his life. you have to remember here is someone that is interested in history. he lived through the incredible history in cuba because during his lifetime, there were a series of political upheavals and of course as is the pattern you have the cuban leader going off into exile, usually with a lot of money. they went to miami. there is a cemetery where a couple of former cuban leaders were buried. so his grandfather lived all of that, lived all of that prior to castro with this sense of what a
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government and its troubles and its foibles can do to individuals as far as their day-to-day life. after he went back after the takeover it was at a time that the cuban government, the castro government was just getting started and they came up with a law that said if you are a renter your rent immediately slashed in half, but then after a certain number of years, you will gain ownership of those houses for those apartments. most people are still waiting. >> i came in all late so --
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>> i will let you off just this one time. [laughter] the cuban community has changed quite radically since it came here in the 1950's. politically there's a lot of changes going on in the community especially the castro regime and you have some cubin congress people who take quite extreme positions on the regime. it may be looking down in the future to play a much more central role in u.s. politics. how is he negotiating these changes taking place in his own community? in cuba and latin america, and does he have an example within the community because before him there was a senator of cubin background and congress, are
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there examples he tried to model his career both of cubin background in cuba or in the united states that he looked to try to emulate? >> that's a very good question and before i answer that specifically, i want to tell you a little story. in 2004 on the night of the presidential election, i was the bureau chief for the post in miami at that time and a bunch of reporters had come into town from other papers and everybody filed their stories, and a group of us gathered at my house, and i said we are not going to sit around here. let's go down to little havana. so the sort of focal point of the republican right in the cuban community is this restaurant called oversight. it's a very famous restaurant, and every politician goes over there and it's for everybody hangs out.
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so on this side of the street that riverside was the world these people waving flags and so we walked through that side of the street and talked to people because we are reporters and that's what we do. so we asked people why? because he's going to get castro. he's going to be tough on him. was the thing everybody wanted to talk to us about. and we went over to the other side of the street, which in a real sign of what's the the opponent, the democrat had placed his headquarters and there were all sorts of people waving flags and all that. the wilson cuban-americans. why are you with this guy? he said we like his positions on health care and we think he's going to do this for the economy and jobs etc., etc.. nobody was talking about fidel
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castro. this was a group of cuban-americans many of whom where a born in the united states and had a sort of left behind this really intractable and longstanding feud between the nation's. and when you analyze the cuban politics, you know, there's a lot of expectation that that group will eventually sort of rise and be significant in reshaping american policy. marco rubio would have been on the other side of the street on the versai side of the street. he was raised in that political mindset. he has maintained positioner for strict handling of the cuban
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regime. in other words, not into having more flights down there, tough rhetoric demanding political change on the island. some cuban-americans are tired of that. but not to be underestimated that many of them are still very wedded to this ongoing fight and will be as long as the castro lives. >> he was a senator from florida, and i am wondering what his position is on medicare, medicaid, social security is enunciated the position and whether in your reporting you've detected in the nuances to any
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stated position and what his devotion to the proposed paul ryan budget is. i'm wondering if you would comment on those issues. >> in the beginning we talked about him making the great catch, and that got a lot of headlines. but during the same talk because he was there to give a speech at the library he said something that became very controversy all and that was that he had the entitlement programs and weakened as as a nation and that there had been times when the community took care of people who were in need whether they were elderly or poor and then became a big fight because the commentators on the left the
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council on that as a repudiation of these very popular programs. but i think in some respects it wasn't a completely fair criticism because he had been talking about reforming the system so that it would survive. and he is presented that kind of nuanced when it comes to these entitlement programs pretty consistently throughout. he had somewhat of a tepid response originally to the budget that he has been very enthusiastic about the choice of ryan as the vice presidential nominee. >> another question. what do you expect of him and his opportunity to introduce mitt romney as the presidential candidate? >> will be one of the moments of the convention.
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this is the local boy made good, and it will be played up in a very large way and i think that he is going to have a role beyond that. it's interesting that the republican party will be featuring several latinos and another is susanna martinez, the governor of new mexico, and one would think that the democratic party would have an equal answer as far as star power, and i think you saw a little bit of an attempt to reach out to the latino community by the keynote speaker of the democratic national convention which is the mayor of san antonio, exactly. but at the same time, while a lot of people are saying marco rubio could be on a national
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ticket or at one time people are mentioning suzanne m. martinez as somebody that could be on one of these lists that are never published of butter spoken of constantly. it's interesting that the democratic party does not have a latino who right now very readily would say is on the short list of folks that could be on the national ticket. >> good evening. how do you envision senator marco rubio's relationships with the right-wing talking heads on the radio, particularly sean hannity and marc levin as well as rush limbaugh who blasted him when that as you mentioned in your presentation, his ideas on
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the dream act came out. do you think they could ever realistically support him as a national candidate? >> yes. i think he's been very popular on the conservative radio and a conservative television and sean hannity has been one of the prime examples of that. he's been on the hannity show frequently. and morris who is a commentator on the show once said that republicans would be crazy or something to the fact didn't put him on the ticket. he's very popular with the two-party and there is a crossover to the conservative radio. one thing we haven't talked about but also very popular with evangelical christians and catholics because he has had a connection to both of those religions that he is a
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practicing catholic who said he goes to mass every day in washington, d.c. but he goes to protestant evangelical church with his family in florida. in addition to that, as a child for time he was a mormon and returned to the catholic church then became self identifying as a baptist, then became self identified as a catholic and then sort of the hybrid, now mostly catholic but also with a little bit of evangelical, so religion is this complicated and very important, please a very important complicated role in his national image. >> one follow-up. i am continually amazed by fees
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talk show hosts who in the beginnings are blasting rubio and mitt romney and everybody else like them and now all we hear is he's the greatest thing on earth. i was wondering if you have any comments about that. >> sounds like american politics to me. [laughter] i mean, the rhetoric that we hear during primaries sometimes involved once we get into the one-on-one showdown between a democrat and republican. >> i have a question. >> okay. i'm told i have time for one question. i'm sure it will be a good one. estimate okay. i don't know if it will be a good one, but it is only one. since florida is possibly going to be such a key state in the forthcoming presidential
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elections, why do you think romney didn't pick rubio? >> that is a difficult question to answer without having beth myers in the room to get i think that marco rubio would have represented a lot of sense to the national ticket and that republicans are aware of that. there was energy, popularity, through his appeal in florida through his appeal to certain religious groups through the possibility that he could media during some latino votes thing. at the same time he was battling against some perceived or real liabilities. one of them is an experienced ? i'm not sure is a completely legitimate question since or
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concern because she had such long experience in the florida legislature and was speaker of the house but much more governing experience than president obama had when he ran. then there were vetting issues. the story about his family migration being one. he also had an issue with a republican party of florida credit card he was using for personal expenses and had to repay those, say was a mistake that it undercuts his narrative as a small government conservative. then his friendship with congressman david rivera who has been controversy all is said to be under investigation by the federal government. they own a house together and was threatened with foreclosure, and all of those could have been story lines of the national media certainly would have written a lot about if he had initially said there would have been a lot of attention on that, and i sure that when looking at
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whether to choose them or not, you have to weigh those assets against those possible liabilities. so, thanks for all the good questions. appreciate you being such an attentive audience. [applause] >> you are watching book tv on c-span2 and we are on location in new york city at the annual book publishing industry convention held at the javits center in midtown manhattan. and we want to introduce you to a new author whose book is coming out in september and his name is kevin powers coming and he's written a novel called "the yellow birds." terse deval if you would give us your backgrounds of people can understand where you are coming from. >> sure. i grew up in virginia.
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17i signed up for the army. >> what year was that? >> 1997, before my senior year in high school. i ended up going to iraq in 2004 and 2005 and got back. i've always been a huge reader and i've always been a writer, too and when i got back from overseas i realized i had a story to tell about the war, so i started writing the book about a year or two after i got back. >> how long were you in the army force? >> eight years total. >> did you feel fulfilled there's a lot of really good people i appreciated the discipline and i learned a lot about myself, and it was a privilege to serve on the armed forces. >> so you are in iraq in 2003, 2004? >> 2004, 2005. >> when you got back and left
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the army what was your life like? >> i think one of the things that is difficult coming back this kind of the last order and direction. as difficult as it can be in the military and especially overseas, it is incredibly simple. you know what is expected of you as hard as your job is it's out there in front of you and you have to do it. when you get home there is so much free time if you get bombarded with options and possibilities and stimuli especially coming back from the desert. everything is overwhelming. as other readjustment period is challenging. >> what did you find most challenging? >> not knowing what i was supposed to do next. that was tough. i was going to get out of the mother of three when i got back from my tour.
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and i sort of didn't know what the next step was going to be. as a, kind of figuring out that was a little tough. >> so you started writing the yellow birds or the novel is that correct? >> yes. >> how did you submit it and get it to somebody that could published by little brown? >> i started at the university and i'd taken creative writing class says. i actually was mainly writing poetry at that time. i ended up in the graduate school in the university of texas and showed it to the professors and they were really encouraging. a good friend of mine philip myers, the author of american rust was a graduate of the commissioners read it and loved it and offered to send it to his agent. that's how he got it in the hands of my agent. >> is this based on your experience in iraq? >> i would say is a work of the
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imagination that wouldn't have happened without the experience is that it had. the circumstances hadn't happened to me while i was overseas but i think the sort of emotional core of the book was something that i wanted to get out there and to communicate to people who may be felt like they didn't understand that experience we it one of the most frequent questions i got asked and i think a lot of veterans are asked is what was it like over there? it's hard to know how to answer that question so that is what i was trying to do when i started to write the book is sort of how do i contend with that question. what is it like? >> you talk about the emotional core. what are the emotions that you brought out in "the yellowbird"? >> the confusion is you have a sort of job to do, and you understand your job read you may not understand all of the repercussions, the way that will affect you down the line, the way that it affects the people around you, and particularly the way that it protects your family
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at home putative for instance my mother, the hardship that she endured. i don't think i understood that until i had some time to mature and get older and had conversations with her about what was like for her. so that is a story that i wanted to tell, too not just what it's like when you're oversees the the fact it can have on the families back home. >> where did the title of the yellow birds come from? >> it comes from a march. the traditional army marching cadence and it's one of the of the graphs of the book. the yellowbird with a yellow bill which anybody that's been in the army and shore has heard that 1 million times. >> why did you decide to make this an awful rather than a fact based book? >> i think a lot of people have really capably talked about what's coming in a, sort of a big picture feel of what happened in iraq and afghanistan
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and what's going on over there but i just felt like there was an opportunity to tell individual story, just get a picture into one person's consciousness there is the emotional life during the tour and what i was like coming home. i felt like there was an opportunity for this story to be told on a smaller scale. >> kevin powers was ptsd an issue for you? >> i don't know. it was never diagnosed or anything like that. it was tough coming back. i will say that. it was a bigger challenge than i thought it was going to be. it takes -- i expected things would be different but we do have sort of noises that will alarm you and things like that and that is certainly something i experienced. but i don't know if -- i do know people have had it much worse. both my experience overseas and coming back. there are people that are really
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struggling with that and, you know, maybe if this book can raise awareness about what people are going through when they come home, that would be something that would be incredibly grateful. >> you're still a student at the university of texas correct? >> i just gradually graduated in may. my mfa and poetry. >> as a first-time author what has been your experience getting published in the whole hoopla surrounding you? >> it's exciting. it's not something i can say that i expected and i certainly hope for, but you know, i have a great agent and little brown has been fantastic to work with so i feel like i have a support system in place, but it's a privilege people might read something i've written so i really excited about it. >> you're next book are you planning on doing another book of poetry? >> ibm. i have a book of poetry that is

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