In Little Failure, the novelist recounts his emigration from the USSR to the U.S. when he was 7. For the first few years, he says, he would sit alone in the school cafeteria, talking to himself in Russian "in this gigantic fur hat and fur coat." It wasn't long before a teacher advised, "Children won't play with you if you have that much fur on."
Spektor spent the first nine years of her life in the Soviet Union, where she and her family faced discrimination as Jews. She talks about Russia and her new album, What We Saw From the Cheap Seats, with Terry Gross.
An interview recorded with Sergei Khrushchev before taking his citizenship exam today. Sergei, who is now 63, has lived with his wife in Providence, Rhode Island, since 1991. He is a senior research scholar and lecturer at Brown University's Center for Foreign Policy Development. His father had led the Soviet Union for about a decade when he was ousted in 1964. Sergei edited his father's memoirs, is the author of "Khrushchev on Khrushchev," and is finishing a new book about his father.
Soviet emigre, and Manhattan cab driver Vladimir Lobas. In 1977, Lobas was living in New York, and needed some quick cash, so he got a job driving a cab. His first day on the job was also the first time he had Ever driven an automobile. He's written about his experiences in a new memoir, called "Taxi From Hell." (It's published by Soho).
Comedian Yakov Smirnoff. He arrived in the U.S. from the Soviet Union 10 years ago with $100 in his pocket. Today he is a leading comic who has appeared in movies and had his own syndicated TV show called "What A Country."