Internationally-known author and journalist, Oxford-educated Simon Winchester is becoming an American Citizen. He came to San Jose State as a Lurie Fellow when I was doing my MFA there. I enjoyed his wit and irreverent style and always thought of him as the consummate British Citizen. But in three days, on July fourth, he’s raising his hand in Boston and swearing his allegiance to The United States of America. Here’s a quote from the Newsweek article that explains how his gratitude to America brought this about:
I began to consider what truly mattered to me, about the society in which I wanted to live out the rest of my days. I used to stroll at lunchtime down to the waterfront, at the Battery, and list those attributes of Home I felt I could abandon. Though at first I felt a traitor, a heretic, I realized I would feel no qualms at all about turning my back on the notions of royalty, on the bizarre idea of an established church, on inherited privilege, on the House of Lords, on class divisions, and on the relative want of opportunity.
It was this last that pushed me over the edge. By now I was prospering, and in a way and to a degree that I felt I could never have done back home. I felt so deeply grateful to America in consequence, beholden. I now truly wanted to throw in my lot, to play in full my part in America’s making and its future.
Here’s the link to his “My Turn” piece in Newsweek: http://www.newsweek.com/2011/06/26/my-turn-simon-winchester-on-becoming-an-american-citizen.html
Causes Kevin Arnold Supports
Poetry Center San Jose, East Palo Alto Police Activities League (EPA PAL), Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Yale Writing Conference, Gold Rush Writers