Sonia Sotomayor


I learned this week that University of Alaska Fairbanks Summer Sessions posted the video of my conversation with Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

It was a remarkable event, and I feel quite honored I was part of it. While I was prepared for her to get up from her chair and wander the Davis Concert Hall, it was a first for me to lose a guest in the shadows. At some points I was casting questions into the void; at least that’s what it seemed, with the spotlights in my eyes and her having passed into the darker recesses of the auditorium. Nevertheless, Justice Sotomayor quite captivated the audience as she roamed up and down the aisles, shaking hands and exchanging a few words here and there. Her responses to questions were thoughtful, of course, but also delivered like a gentle rabbinic scholar combined with a wise aunt.

It is that combination of humanity and thoughtfulness her memoir My Beloved World  exhibits. It proved so helpful to me in preparation for the interview. In it, Sotomayor displays a gift for drawing vivid portraits of family and friends and providing gripping descriptions of her hardscrabble childhood. Often many of her scenes put me in mind of passages from Dickens. I recommend it.

In any case, I’m glad the video is finally available. I hope you enjoy it.

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