Not every exposure is perfect, but this literary album contains striking snapshots by a gifted writer with a capacious heart...

THE AMOS OZ READER

An eclectic selection from the 40-year career of the popular but controversial Israeli novelist and essayist (How to Cure a Fanatic, 2006, etc.).

Arranged loosely by theme (“In the Promised Land,” “In an Autobiographical Vein,” etc.), these pieces illustrate the range of Oz’s talents and the focus of his interests. Born in Jerusalem in 1939, he left home at 14 to live in a kibbutz; of all social systems, he declares, it is “the least bad, the least unkind.” As a citizen of a nation perpetually at war, he acknowledges that violence is sometimes necessary—Dachau, he notes, was not liberated by peace demonstrators—but believes it ought to be a last resort rather than the first option. He condemns all sides in the Middle East conflict, thereby estranging himself from conservatives. His most wrenching essay terms Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon “a war of deceit and brainwashing.” Oz writes about the many changes he’s witnessed in Jerusalem, about the existence of evil in the world—he chides Freudians and just about all other social scientists for their failure to engage with it—and about the horrors of warfare. In the grimmest entry, an excerpt from his 1971 novel Crusade, a medieval Crusader orders the torture and murder of a Jew. Like most anthologies, this one offers mixed blessings. It will surely introduce this important modern writer to a broader audience, but some of the selections are confusing, especially those from his fiction. There are some striking sentences (common for Oz), but many readers will experience bewilderment as they struggle to glean the passages’ context within the novels.

Not every exposure is perfect, but this literary album contains striking snapshots by a gifted writer with a capacious heart and humane philosophy.

Pub Date: April 14, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-15-603566-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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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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