DEAR WRITER, DEAR ACTRESS

THE LOVE LETTERS OF ANTON CHEKHOV AND OLGA KNIPPER

A moving and intimate epistolary record of the complex relationship between the great Russian playwright and the actress who eventually became his wife. Chekhov (18601904) already had an advanced case of tuberculosis when he met Knipper (18681959) in the fall of 1898. She was rehearsing the role of Arkadina in his revised version of The Seagull for the newly formed Moscow Art Theatre; the production's success—and her personal triumph in it—meant that she spent the theater season in Moscow while he, under doctor's orders, spent the long Russian winter in the warmer climate of Yalta. These separations, which continued after their marriage in 1901, made letters their primary form of communication for months at a time. The couple's very different personalities stand in sharp relief: Knipper's lively epistles, which feature evocative descriptions of the Russian landscape and some astute analysis of her lover's personality, reveal an affectionate, frank, impulsive woman who wrote what she thought and frequently expressed frustration with Chekhov's elusiveness. The playwright's missives are witty, charming, and infuriatingly oblique about his feelings, although his post-wedding correspondence is noticeably warmer. Benedetti (Stanislavski, 1988) has edited the letters to focus on the pair's personal relationship; frequent ellipses suggest that a good deal of information about Moscow Art Theatre rehearsals and internal politics has been omitted, possibly to avoid overlap with The Moscow Art Theatre Letters, which he also edited. Interesting though the couple's emotional ups and downs are, more material on their shared professional life—he wrote Masha in Three Sisters and Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard for her—would have made this even better. Nonetheless, this correspondence gives us wonderfully vivid self-portraits of two important Russian artists and a poignant chronicle of love struggling against the handicap of distance and the ravages of terminal illness.

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1997

ISBN: 0-88001-550-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Ecco/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more