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.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

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.

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