Author's First Thanksgiving Dinner Not Memorable

Author Joseph O'Neill was born in Ireland and raised in the Netherlands. As part of the series about becoming an American, O'Neill tells Steve Inskeep that his Thanksgivings have been anything but typical American Thanksgivings. In fact, he can't even remember his first Thanksgiving in the United States.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


Another of the authors we spoke with this week about becoming American was Joseph O'Neill - born in Ireland, raised in the Netherlands, now in New York City. He recalls that his Thanksgivings have been anything but typical American Thanksgivings. I wonder if you remember your first Thanksgiving in the United States?

Mr. JOSEPH O'NEILL (Author): I do not. But I'm pretty sure that I could reconstruct it. There would certainly have been some kind of large meal cooked by my wife, although she's in the habit of cooking Mexican food for Thanksgiving, maybe because she's from California.

INSKEEP: You mean like what, burritos?

Mr. O'NEILL: Tamales and all kinds of stuff like that. And it turns out to be quite an event. And we usually have 15 or 20 people around. I think my in-laws generally make an appearance at Thanksgiving. Plus there's a bunch of people who don't necessarily have family to go to, and, you know, they always end up at our place.

INSKEEP: Joseph O'Neill, author of the book "Netherland." He's one of three authors telling us about their early Thanksgivings in the United States.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.