September 6, 2017: TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

It’s a night filled with anxiety for both students and their parents as school starts tomorrow.  We’ll address the issues you, your child, and even our officials will be tackling this year. We have Broadway royalty in the house as Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune take a detour from their “Chita and Tune” tour, and make a MetroFocus pit stop. Author Salman Rushdie joins us to discuss his latest work, “The Golden House,” an epic novel with political undertones set right here in Manhattan.

 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' IT'S A NIGHT FILLED WITH ANXIETY FOR STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENT AS THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS TOMORROW.

IN A MOMENT, A LOOK AT THE ISSUES THAT YOU, YOUR CHILD AND OUR PUBLIC OFFICIALS WILL BE TACKLING BESIDES READING, WRITING AND A RIT ME TICK.

> WE HAVE BROADWAY ROYALTY IN THE HOUSE.

WE HAVE A DETOUR FROM THE CROSS COUNTRY TOUR AND MAKE A 'METROFOCUS' PIT STOP.

> A AN AUTHOR JOINS US TO DISCUSS HIS LATEST NOVEL.

SET RIGHT HERE IN MANHATTAN.

ALL THAT AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

STARTING TOMORROW, 1.1 MILLION KIDS ACROSS THE NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM WILL PACK THEIR BACK BAGS AND HEAD OFF TO BEGIN ANOTHER SCHOOL YEAR.

IT CAN BE A STRESSFUL TIME FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS ALIKE.

THIS SCHOOL YEAR COMES IN THE MIDDLE OF A MAYORAL ELECTION.

MAYOR BILL De BLASIO IS UNDER PRESSURE TO SHOW HOW HE IS IMPROVING THE LOWEST PERFORMING SCHOOL.

JOINING ME IS NEW YORK TIMES METRO REPORTER KATE TAYLOR.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

WHERE DOES THE MAYOR'S EFFORTS STAND GOING INTO THIS NEW SCHOOL YEAR?

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT EDUCATION REPORTERS AND PEOPLE WHO CLOSELY FOLLOW SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN LOOKING CLOSELY AT IS WHAT'S KNOWN AS THE RENEWAL PROGRAM WHICH IS MAYOR De BLASIO'S EFFORT TO TURN AROUND THE CITY'S LOWEST PERFORMING SCHOOL.

THESE ARE SCHOOLS IN HIGH POVERTY NEIGHBORHOODS WITH A LOT OF STUDENTS THAT HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING FOR YEARS WITH TEST SCORES, GRADUATION RATES AND OTHER DATA POINTS.

THIS IS ONE OF HIS EFFORTS.

THE CITY HAS SPENT NEARLY $600 MILLION ON THIS PROGRAM TO TRYING TO EXTEND THE SCHOOL DAY, GIVE TEACHERS EXTRA TRAINING, BRING SOCIAL SERVICES INTO THE SCHOOLS IN HOPES IT WOULD TURN THE SCHOOLS AROUND.

WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING CLOSELY AT THIS.

IT'S HARD TO TELL WHETHER THIS PROGRAM HAS WORKED.

WE JUST HAD NEW TEST SCORES COME OUT RECENTLY.

SOME OF THE SCHOOLS HAVE IMPROVED OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS THAT THEY HAVE GOTTEN THIS HELP.

SOME OF THEM HAVE STAGNATED AND IN SOME CASES DETERIORATED ON DATA LIKE TEST SCORES AND GRADUATION RATES.

THIS IS A MULTI-LAYER THING.

A LOT OF FUNDING IS RELYING ON STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDING.

ISN'T THAT A BIT OF COMPARING APPLES TO ORANGES ON THE MAYOR'S PART.

THE TESTS HAVE CHANGED BETWEEN THIS YEAR AND LAST YEAR.

IT REALLY IS LIKE APPLES AND ORANGES.

THAT'S ONE OF THE THING THAT'S IRONIC ABOUT HIS REACTION.

HE HELD THIS PRESS CONFERENCE WHERE HE TALKED ABOUT BOTH THAT SOME OF THESE SCHOOLS IN THE RENEWAL PROGRAM HAD IMPROVED TEST SCORES AND OVERALL THE CITY SEEN TEST SCORES IMPROVE EVERY YEAR THE LAST FOUR YEARS WHILE HE'S BEEN MAYOR.

IN FACT, AS YOU SAID, THE TESTS HAVE CHANGED A LOT.

THERE WAS A LOT OF RESISTANCE TO TESTS.

A LOT OF PARENTS OPTING OUT OF THE TESTS.

IN RESPONSE TO STATE GAVE TESTS SHORTER AND GAVE STUDENTS UNLIMITED TIME TO TAKE THEM.

YOU CAN'T COMPARE THE LAST FEW YEARS THE RESULTS ON THE TESTS.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THEY'RE GOING TO TRY FOCUS ON?

I KNOW WITH EDUCATION THERE'S SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS OF THOUGHT.

THERE'S DIVERSION AND INCLUSION AND PRE-K.

THERE'S ALSO THIS HINGES ON STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDING.

THAT'S WHERE HE'S MADE HIS MAJOR BETS IS PRE-K.

THEY OFFER IT TO ALL 4-YEAR-OLDS.

NOW THEY ARE SAYING THEY WILL EXPAND IT FOR ALL 3-YEAR-OLDS.

THAT DEPENDS ON A LOT OF STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDING.

THIS YEAR THEY ARE JUST EXPANDING IT IN ONE OR TWO DISTRICTS FOR 3-YEAR-OLDS.

THEY ARE PLANNING TO ROLL IT OUT IN THE FUTURE IF THEY GET THAT FUNDING.

THE OTHER THING, AS I SAID, THEY'VE REALLY MADE A BET THAT SOCIAL SERVICES IN SCHOOL.

THEY REFER TO THIS AS COMMUNITY SCHOOLS WHICH MEANS YOU MIGHT HAVE A DENTAL CLINIC, MENTAL HEALTH CLINIC, LEGAL SERVICES FOR PARENTS WHO MIGHT BE STRUGGLING WITH HOUSING.

IN SCHOOLS SO SCHOOLS BECOME A CENTER OF THE COMMUNITY.

A PLACE WHERE FAMILIES CAN COME AND GET HELP AND OBVIOUSLY ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HOLDS HIGH POVERTY SCHOOLS BACK IS FAMILIES ARE DEALING WITH SO MANY CHALLENGES.

HEALTH PROBLEMS, MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM, FINANCIAL PROBLEMS.

THEY ARE SAYING IF YOU CAN DEAL WITH SOME OF THOSE THINGS IN SCHOOLS, THE STUDENTS WILL DO A LOT BETTER.

THAT'S SOMETHING THAT TAKES A LONG TIME TO TAKE EFFECT.

TO SHOW TEST SCORES AND GRADUATION RATES IF IT DOES AT ALL.

THAT'S WHY IT'S BEEN HARD TO SEE WITH THE RENEWAL PROGRAM WHETHER IT'S MADE A DIFFERENCE.

WE CAN'T TALK ABOUT EDUCATION IN THE CITY WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS.

I UNDERSTAND IT'S BEEN LISTED.

WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE MAYOR De BL BLASIO?

THE MAYOR HAS SINCE HIS EARLIER TIME BEFORE HE WAS MAYOR AS A POLITICIAN AND THEN RUNNING FOR ELECTION AS MAYOR IN 2013, HE'S BAN EEN A CRITIC OF CHARTE SCHOOLS.

HE'S CLOSELY ALIGNED WITH TEACHER ESS UNION WHO OPPOSES CHARTER SCHOOLS.

ONE OF THE CENTRAL BATTLES HAS BEEN OVER STATE IN SCHOOLS.

CHARTER SCHOOLS WANT TO EXPAND.

NEW CHARTER SCHOOLS WANT TO OPEN.

THEY REALLY WANT SPACE IN PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDINGS.

THIS IS CALLCO-LOCATION.

IT'S WHEN YOU ALLOW A CHARTER SCHOOL TO OPEN IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDING THAT HAS CLOSED.

THEY ARE HOLDING RALLIES AT CITY HALL TO DEMAND THE MAYOR GIVE THEM SPACE.

THEY SAID THE MAYOR MISSED THE DEADLINE.

BE MAYOR HAS HAD TO BECOME ACCOMMODATING BECAUSE OF THE POLITICAL DYNAMICS AND THE STATES.

THE GOVERNOR IS A PROPOENENT FO CHARTER SCHOOLS.

THE STATE GOVERNMENT IN ALBANY HAS CONTROL OVER THE MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE OF NEW YORK CITY SCHOOLS.

TO GET MAYORAL CONTROL OF SCHOOLS RENEWED THE MAYOR HAS HAD TO GO TO ALBANY TO GET THE STATE LEGISLATURE TO PASS THIS.

THE SENATE REPUBLICANS HAVE MADE THIS DIFFICULT FOR HIM.

ONE OF THE STICKING POINTS THEY HAVE RAISED IS CHARTER SCHOOLS AND WANTING THE MAYOR TO BE MORE ACCOMMODATING TO CHARTER SCHOOLS.

THIS IS WHEN WE WENT TO GET MAYORAL CONTROL HE MADE A SIDE DEAL WITH THE REPUBLICANS IN THE SENATE WHERE HE SAID I'M GOING TO MAKE THINGS EASIER FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS IN THE CITY.

I'M GOING TO BE MORE ACCOMMODATING OF THEIR REQUEST FOR SPACE AND OTHER ISSUES.

WE'LL SEE HOW THAT PLAYS OUT.

LISTEN.

THERE'S SO MUCH THAT WE HAVE COVERED HERE.

EVERYTHING FROM THE MAKE UP OF THE STATE SENATE TO WHAT WE'LL SEE WHAT COMES OUT OF MAYORAL DEBATE.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US FOR THE SHOW.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

THANK YOU.

♪ BEAUTIFUL SONG ♪ ♪ WHEN LOVE IS RIGHT WHAT CAN BE WRONG ♪ ♪ BEAUTIFUL SONG TO ME ♪

> TWO LIVING LEGENDS OF THE AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATER.

NOW THEY ARE JOINING FORCES AND TAKING THEIR SHOW ON THE ROAD ALL ACROSS AMERICA.

THIS UNPRECEDENTED CONSCERT WIL KICK OFF IN OUR AREA FOR TWO SHOWS, SEPTEMBER 16th AND 17th.

I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK WITH THEM AND I BEGAN OUR CONVERSATION BY ASKING JUST WHAT THE LUCKY PEOPLE ATTENDSING TH THEIR CONCERTS SHOULD EXPECT TO SEE.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DANCE?

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SING?

WE'RE FIGURING IT OUT NOW.

WE'RE DOING DUETS FROM BROADWAY SHOWS.

WE'RE FINDING IT.

WE'RE IN REHEARSAL NOW.

YOU DESCRIBED CHEETAH AS THE DEFINITION OF THE ULTIMATE PROFESSIONAL.

HOW DOES SHE MANIFEST THAT PRO PROFESSIONALISM?

EVERY BONE IN HER BODY.

EVERY CELL IT'S ALL THERE.

IT'S READY.

SHE GOES LIKE THAT AND SHE'S THERE.

DO YOUR VOCAL WARM UP.

THAT'S YOUR WARM UP.

I TAKE AN HOUR TO GET WARMED UP.

I GO THROUGH ALL OF THAT AND SHE GOES MEH AND SHE'S READY.

THAT'S HER TALENT.

SHE'S GOT IT.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE HIM?

OH, GOSH.

HE'S THE EPITAMY OF AN ARTIST.

HE'S THE ONE THAT CREATES SOMETHING.

HE'S A PAINTER.

A DANCER, AN ACTOR, A SINGER.

HE'S AN ENORMOUS DIRECTOR AND EXTRAORDINARY DIRECTOR.

WE HAVE WONDERED WHERE'S TOMMY.

WHY THE HECK HASN'T HE DONE SOMETHING?

WE NEED TOMMY DESPERATELY IN THE THEATER.

HE'S A GIANT IN EVERY WAY IN HIS ARTISTIC ABILITY AND HE LOVES PEOPLE.

THE BEST PART ABOUT TOMMY THAT I'M LEARNING -- I THINK I'M GOING TO TEAR UP A BIT.

YOU REALLY WANT HUMAN BEINGS TO BE JEGENTLE AND KIND AND THOUGHTFUL.

THAT'S WHAT TOMMY IS.

HE'S ALL OF THAT AND MORE.

IT'S GREAT.

IT'S TOO EMBARRASSING.

I DON'T BLUSH.

IF I COULD, I WOULD.

I WOULD BE BRIGHT PINK NOW.

YOU HAVE A TERRIFIC STORY.

MY WIFE LOVED IT.

I WANT YOU TO TELL THE STORY ABOUT THE ADVICE THAT YOUR FATHER GAVE YOU ABOUT THE KIND OF WAGES THAT A YOUNG PERFORMER SHOULD BE MAKING.

I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MONEY.

STILL DON'T.

I DIDN'T DO IT FOR MONEY.

I WANTED TO KNOW SO I TALKED TO MY DAD BEFORE I LEFT.

THE DAY BEFORE I LEFT.

I SAID WHEN I GET TO NEW YORK, IF I SHOULD GET A JOB ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY WOULD I NEED TO BE ABLE TO SUPPORT MYSELF.

HE SAID, WELL, BEAU, I WOULD SAY IF YOU COULD WORK YOUR WAY UP TO MAKING 100 BUCKS A WEEK, YOU WOULD BE IN HIGH COTTON.

I CAME TO THIS AUDITION AND GOT THE JOB.

I WENT TO SIGN THE THING AND IT WAS THE TOP PRICE FOR DANCER ON BROADWAY WAS 90 BUCKS.

90 BUCKS WAS THE MINIMUM.

I CALLED HOME.

YOU DON'T CALL BACK THEN.

THAT MEANT SOMEBODY DIED.

HE SAID WHAT'S WRONG.

I SAID NOTHING.

I SAID I'M ALMOST IN HIGH COTTON.

A GREAT STORY.

AFTER YEARS OF PERFORMING YOU WENT ONTO BECOME MULTI-TONY AWARD WINNI NING CHOREOGRAPHER.

EVERYTHING ELSE WAS GRAVY.

ALSO BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME.

HE SAID WHO ARE YOU?

MY NAME IS TOMMY TUNE.

DO YOU THINK I SHOULD CHANGE IT?

EVERYBODY WAS SAYING WHAT'S YOUR REAL NAME.

IT IS MY REAL NAME.

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING.

I SAID, MY NAME IS TOMMY TUNE, DO YOU THINK I SHOULD CHANGE IT?

HE SAID NOT IF YOU WANT TO GO AROUND BEING TOMMY TUNE.

GREAT ADVICE.

WHO ELSE WOULD YOU WANT TO GO AROUND BEING.

I WENT OKAY.

CHITA, I THINK IT'S SAFE TO SAY THAT WESTSIDE STORY, WHEN YOU GOT THE PART O ANITA, THAT MADE YOU A STAR.

YOUR BREAKTHROUGH.

IS IT ACCURATE TO SAY THAT?

I THINK IT'S ACCURATE TO SAY THAT SHOW WAS THE FIRST OF ITS KIND AND WHEN I -- BUT WE THOUGHT OF IT AS WORK.

IT WAS A JOB.

I LOVED THE RHYTHMS AND I LOVED WHAT I HEARD.

YOU REALLY WANT TO GET THE JOB.

ALL THE AUDITIONS BECOME A CHALLENGE.

I GUESS I LIKE THE CHALLENGE.

I LIKE TO HEAR WHAT COMES OUT OF ME.

IT'S ALMOST LIKE BEING INTRODUCED TO YOURSELF THE MORE I PERFORM.

THE MORE MATERIAL I USED.

IT'S A WONDERFUL THING TO FIND OUT.

I THINK WEST SIDSIDE WAS PROBAB THE MOST FAMOUS.

SEVENth HEAVEN WAS WONDERFUL.

THAT WAS WONDERFUL.

YOU STILL LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF.

STILL?

ABSOLUTELY.

IT'S ALWAYS LIKE THE FIRST TIME.

THAT'S WHAT'S SO BRILLIANT ABOUT THE THEATER BECAUSE IT'S ALIVE.

♪ ♪ GOT A LOT OF LIVING ♪ TO DO

FOR MORE OUR INTERVIEW WITH CHITA RIVERA AND TOMMY TUNE, PLEASE WATCH 'METROFOCUS' TOMORROW NIGHT.

> THE SECOND NOVEL, MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN WON THE BOOKER SURPRISE IN 1981.

STILL, RUSH IS PERHAPS KNOWN FOR HIS ESPECIALLY I THINK FOURTH NOVEL, THE SATANIC VERSES.

TODAY HE LIVES HERE IN NEW YORK CITY, THE SETTING FOR HIS LATEST NOVEL, THE GOLDEN HOUSE OPINION.

SALMAN THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

SALMAN THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

SALMAN THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

SALMAN THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

SALMAN THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

SALMAN THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

SALMAN THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

SALMAN THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

SALMAN THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

IT'S SO RICH.

WHAT ASPECT OF IT FIRST HIT YOUR IMAGINATION?

IT'S REALLY TWO THINGS CAME COLLI COLLIDED WITH EACH OTHER.

THE NOVEL BEFORE THIS IS FAIRY TALE OF NEW YORK.

IT'S GOT GENIES AND PEOPLE FLYING AROUND AND OGRES.

I THOUGHT I WANTED TO WRITE ALMOST THE OPPOSITE KIND OF NEW YORK NOVEL WHICH WAS A REALIST NOVEL.

IT'S LIKE A BIG, SOCIALIST IST PANORAMA NOVEL.

WHAT ARE PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT NOW?

WHAT'S BUGGING PEOPLE?

ON THE ONE HAND THERE WAS THAT.

I HAD IN MY HEAD THE IDEA OF THIS FAMILY.

THIS WICKED OLD PATRIARCH WITH A SHADY PAST LOOKING TO REINVENT HIMSELF IN ANOTHER PLACE.

INITIALLY, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT WOULD BE FLORK.

WHEN I HAD THIS IDEA OF WRITING A NEW YORK NOVEL, THIS CHARACTER TOLD ME THAT'S WHERE I WANT TO GO.OF WRITING A NEW YORK NOVEL, THIS CHARACTER TOLD ME THAT'S WHERE I WANT TO GO.

THESE TWO THINGS COLLIDED.

IT'S A MYSTERIOUS FAMILY, VERY WEALTHY.

THEY COMPLETELY REINVENTED THEMSELVES.

YOU NEVER FIND OUT THEIR REAL NAMES.

EVERYTHING IS FAKE.

YOU NEVER FIND OUT THE REALITY.

THAT STORY TAKES PLACE WITH A BACKDROP OF THE EIGHT YEAR HISTORIC AMERICA FROM THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA TO THE ELECTION AND LITTLE BIT AFTER OF DONALD TRUMP WHICH IS NARRATER NEVER NAMES.

HE ONLY CALLS HIM THE JOKER.

THAT'S ONE OF THE NICEST THINGS HE CALLS HIM.

ELABORATE ON THE CONFLUENCE OF THOSE TWO REALITIES.

I WANTED THE PRIVATE WORLD OF THIS FAMILY AND THEIR AGONIES AND SECRETS AS ONE LAYER OF THE BOOK.

AROUND THAT TO BE THE LARGER WORLD OF WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR LIVES.

INITIALLY, I DIDN'T HAVE THE IDEA IT WOULD GO FROM THE ELECTION OF OBAMA.

I THOUGHT IT WOULD BROADLY BE SET DURING THE TIME OF THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY AND AT CERTAIN POINT I THOUGHT IT WAS BETTER TO BE PRE PRECISE.

IT GIVES IT MORE OF A SHAPE.

THE WORDS DONALD TRUMP DON'T OCCUR IN THE NOVEL, BUT THE CHARACTER THAT'S A SATIRICAL VERSION OF HIM.

HE'S GOT GREEN HAIR.

HE'S CALLED THE JOKER.

LITERALLY, HE'S THE BATMAN JOKER AND CLINTON IS CALLED THE FAT WOMAN.

THE JOKER AND THE TRUMP ARE TWO VERY STRANGE PLAYING CARDS.

THE TWO PLAYING CARDS THAT DON'T BEHAVE LIKE THE OTHER PLAYING CARDS.

THE NARRATER OF THE FILM, I MEAN THE NOVEL IS A YOUNG FILM MAKER.

HE IS REVOLTED AND SHOCKED BY THE CANDIDACY OF THE JOKER.

WORSE STILL HE'S SHOCKED BY THE VICTORY OF THE JOKER.

ONE OF THE THINGS HE'S AGONIZED ABOUT IS NOT JUST WHO WON THE ELECTION BUT HOW DID WE LET IT HAPPEN.

THAT'S TO SAY NOT WHAT'S WRONG WITH HIM BUT WHAT'S WRONG WITH US.

DOES HIS CONCERN REFLECT YOUR CONCERNS?

YES.

I THINK MANY OF US FELT ANGUISHED DURING THE COURSE OF THE LAST SIX MONTHS AS THE EXTENT OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED BECAME EVIDENT TO US.

WITH RENEE, I THOUGHT HE'S A MEMBER OF A MUCH YOUNGER GENERATION.

HE'S MUCH YOUNGER THAN ME.

ONE OF THE THINGS I FEEL OPTIMISTIC ABOUT IS THE YOUNGER GENERATION IN THIS COUNTRY.

I THINK THEY ARE VERY IDEALISTIC.

THEY HAVE GREAT SENSE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE.

THEY ARE INTERESTED IN THE ENVIRONMENT AND THEY ARE PASSIONATE.

THEY ARE WILLING TO MARCH AND PROTEST.

I THOUGHT I WANTED TO HAVE AS THE VOICE OF THE NOVEL, THE VOICE OF A YOUNGER PERSON.

THE NOVEL IS BEING COME PAPERED TO THE GREAT GATSBY BECAUSE IT HAS THE RICH CHARACTER IN THE CENTER OF IT.

IT THAT NAIVE NARCORATER.

IT KIND OF DEPICTS THE NIGHTMARISH QUALITY OF WHICH THE PERIOD WE LIVE.

DO YOU THINK THOSE COMPARISONS ARE RIGHT?

I'M DEEPLY FLATTERED.

ANYBODY WHO COMPARES YOU TO FITZGERALD IS OVERPRAISING YOU.

WHAT I THINK, I HOPE THAT THE BOOK DOES IS TO CAPTURE A MOMENT.

I THINK IN THE SAME WAY IT'S VERY DIFFICULT NOW FOR US TO LOOK AT THE JAZZ AGE WITHOUT SEEING IT THROUGH FITZGERALD'S EYES.

IF YOU CAN CAPTURE A MOMENT THEN IT BECOMES YOURS IN SOME WAY.

THAT'S MY HOPE FOR THE BOOK THAT PEOPLE READING IT NOW HAVE A KIND OF PLEASURE OR RECOGNITION.

THEY SAY THIS IS WHAT IT'S LIKE.

THAT PEOPLE IN THE FUTURE READING IT MIGHT THINK, THAT'S WHAT IT WAS LIKE.

AS WE WERE TALKING BEFORE WHEN THE CAMERAS STARTED ROLLING, READERS FROM NEW YORK CITY WILL REALLY HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE.

I HOPE SO.

I'VE BEEN LIVING HERE ALMOST 20 YEARS NOW.

20 YEARS AGO WHEN I FIRST MOVMOVER -- MOVED HERE I WROTE A NOVEL ABOUT NEW YORK THAT WAS PUBLISHED ON NE9/11.

THAT WAS A NOVEL OF ARRIVAL.

IT WAS ABOUT A PERSON JUST ARRIVING IN NEW YORK CITY AS I HAD.

20 YEARS LATER, I'M PART OF THE FURNITURE NOW.

IT'S A DIFFERENT WAY OF LOOKING AT IT FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE.

THE SETTING OF THE BOOK, THIS LITTLE GARDEN IN GRENWICH VILLAGE AND THE SECRET LITTLE GARDEN.

I KNEW IT BECAUSE I HAD A COUPLE OF FRIENDS WHO HAVE HOME THERE IS.

IT'S LIKE AN ANTI-THEATER AND THE CHARACTERS AND THEIR STORIES CAN ACT THEMSELVES OUT.

IT'S A GLREAT SETTING.

IT'S A CONCERN OF YOURS BEYOND THE NOVEL.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

THE ABILITY TO SPEAK FREELY NO MATTER WHAT IT IS.

YOU THINK IT'S UNDER THREAT.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST THREATS?

THERE'S A THREAT FROM VERY CRUDELY, THERE'S A THREAT FROM THE RIGHT AND A THREAT FROM THE LEFT.

THE THREAT FROM THE RIGHT WE HAVE JUST SEEN IT.

WE HAVE JUST SEEN IT ON TELEVISION IN CHARLOTTESVILLE.

NO DOUBT WE'RE ABOUT TO SEE IT ELSEWHERE AS WELL.

SURE.

THAT'S SELF-EXPLANATORY WHAT THAT THREAT IS.

IT'S THE THREAT OF NEO-NAZIS.

WHAT I WORRY ABOUT SOMETIMES IS THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF VERY WELL MEANING PEOPLE OF LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE WHO SEEM WILLING TO ACCEPT LIMITATIONS ON SPEECH BECAUSE THEY MIGHT UPSET SOMEBODY.

MY VIEW IS WE JUST HAVE TO BE THICKER SKIN THAN THAT.

EVERYTHING UPSETS SOMEBODY.

IF THAT BECOMES THE CRITERIA THEN NOBODY CAN SAY ANYTHING.

I WORRY ABOUT THAT.

ARE YOU ALREADY WORKING YOUR NEXT NOVEL?

I WISH.

I WISH.

WHEN A BOOK COMES OUT, I LIKE IT IF I ALREADY HAVE A KIND OF GERM OF NEXT ONE?

DO YOU?

I DO NOT.

I HAVE THESE TWO NOVELS IN NEW YORK.

MAYBE I NEED TO GET OUT OF NEW YORK.

I LIKE WHAT YOU DO IN NEW YORK.

I HAVE TO GET OUT OF THE BUBBLE.

MAYBE I HAVE TO GET IN A RED STATE OR TWO.

OR MAYBE GO BACK TO BRITAIN WHERE YOU WERE KNIGHTED IN 2007.

I'VE BEEN AROUND A LONG TIME.

THE BOOK IS THE GOLDEN HOUSE.

IT'S A WONDERFUL BOOK.

IT'S JUST OVERWHELMING TO READ IT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

IT'S AN HONOR TO HAVE YOU HERE.

WONDERFUL TO BE WITH YOU.

> BEFORE WE SAY GOOD NIGHT WE OFFER YOU A GIFT.

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WE'LL SEE YOU AGAIN TOMORROW.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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