Cover To Cover is the anchor program for GPB’s literary coverage. Cover To Cover features a collection of distinctive Southern voices interviewing Georgia writers, Southern writers, and writers dealing with the South. The GPB Southern Lit Cadre will provide you with a varied, weekly glimpse at fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, and even the occasional ‘old school’ nod to Flannery O’Connor or William Faulkner.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Transformation and Hope in Small Town America

Like any good reporter, The New York Times' Warren St. John recognized a compelling story when a friend tipped him off to a youth soccer team of refugee children from dozens of different countries playing in the tiny Southern town of Clarkston, GA, just east of Atlanta, home to a massive relocation project.

He might not have expected, however, to meet a character like the team's coach, Jordanian-born Luma Mufleh and a complex tale of cultural conflict that would ultimately lead to his remarkable second book, Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, An American Town, movie studios bidding for the story, and, on a personal level, a life-altering, consciousness-raising experience.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, St. John talks of Mufleh and her team, The Fugees, like a man on a mission, a mission that goes far beyond the soccer field and toward a dream of greater human understanding between people of wildly divergent backgrounds. And, amazingly enough, the cynical New York newspaper man does it all with infectious hope and optimism.

You can hear this week's interview with Frank Reiss and Warren St. John Sunday night at 8 on Cover to Cover.
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