CHASING THE MONSOON

Frater, travel writer for the London Observer, follows India's summer monsoon to the wettest place on Earth in this eccentric, sporadically entertaining exercise in meteorological nostalgia. The son of a Scottish doctor in the South-West Pacific Islands, Frater was brought up with a healthy respect for both the transformations and catastrophes rain could bring. In 1987, shortly after his mother had died and he himself had contracted a numbing nervous disorder, he got the idea to travel to India and experience the legendary summer monsoon, in the vague hope that its reputed rejuvenating powers would lift his own spirits as well. Arriving at the southern tip of the continent to find weather forecasters frantically calculating the moment of the rains' arrival, Frater learned that the tardiness or outright absence of a monsoon-more likely now due to India's shrinking forestland and increased pollution-can potentially topple governments, inspire revolutions, and substantially raise the level of violent crime as citizens broil in the summer heat. This year, luckily, the rains arrived on schedule. Frater joined throngs of monsoon pilgrims on the coastline, greeting the black wall of precipitation with almost religious fervor, then waded north in its fitful wake through Cochin, Goa, Bombay, and Calcutta before ending up on the border of Bangladesh in Cherrapunji, ``the wettest place on Earth,'' where the monsoon made its dramatic last stand. The 1987 monsoon proved disappointing, leaving vast areas of India drought-stricken, and Frater, ironically, as perhaps the only person on the subcontinent to have fully enjoyed its moist marvels. An unusual adventure, and a fascinating look at modern India.

Pub Date: April 2, 1991

ISBN: 0-394-58310-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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