Elegant essays that seek to understand rather than define our relationships with nature and the places we call home, by an award- winning poet and director of the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona. In 12 essays that are set in four ``loved places''—Grand Manan, a remote Canadian island; the woods of her Connecticut childhood; southern Alaska; and the Arizona desert—Deming explores ``the quality of reflection that these places seem to induce.'' And as she evokes these disparate locales, she skillfully includes vivid descriptions of local flora and fauna, autobiographical details, observations on humans' relationship with nature, as well as meditations on life, death, and the writing of poems. Each place has been a way station in her life, most notably Grand Manan, which she first visited as a child when her frugal Yankee father, concluding that Nantucket was becoming too expensive, found in this remote island, reachable only by a decrepit sling-and-winch ferry, the happy mix of beauty, relaxation, and cheapness he sought. Deming, who has returned there every subsequent summer, observes that ``it takes years to properly visit [a] place...to know where the wild blueberries ripen earliest...to notice a silly gull.'' As she describes the woods of her childhood, she recalls the conflicting reactions of her Puritan ancestors (she is a descendant of Nathaniel Hawthorne's) to the wilderness that surrounded them, her father's painful last illness, and her experiences as a single mother homesteading in rural Vermont. The essays set in Arizona and Alaska are more conventional accounts of, respectively, lingering traces of early Native Americans like the Ansazi and an Alaskan program that rehabilitates injured bald eagles. But even these more familiar topics are infused with Deming's sagacious insights. Nature writing that refreshingly manages to educate, entertain, and move without once resorting to the bully pulpit.

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 1994

ISBN: 1-56279-062-5

Page Count: 214

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1994

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



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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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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