How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

' takes all kinds:' Author Simon Winchester on becoming a U.S. citizen

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The immigrant experiences shared in these digital pages are most often those of people whose families came to this country seeking better economic opportunities, freedom from hunger, freedom from oppression, an escape from war, or all of the above.

But what about those who come here not out of necessity, but because they fall in love with a place, an ideal? Bestselling author Simon Winchester is one of these. On July 4, the British-born writer of historical epics such as Atlantic and Krakatoa will take his oath of U.S. citizenship.

In a piece in Newsweek, Winchester writes movingly about his decision and his love affair with the United States, which began with his family's near-move from London to Tulsa, Oklahoma after his father received a job offer there. He didn't take it, but Winchester later came on his own, first as a traveler, then as a reporter. He returned here to live in the late 1990s.