Though the work falls apart as a cohesive collection, individual stories and the themes of bicultural identity and the bonds...

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MY NAME IS COOL

18 STORIES FROM A CUBAN-IRISH-AMERICAN STORYTELLER

Through short stories and personal vignettes, Sacre introduces readers to his family, several traditional folk tales and his own success as a professional storyteller.

The standout stories of the collection feature strong characters from the author’s family, particularly the extended family on his Cuban side. They are over-the-top, as funny as they are touching. These stories convey the importance of bilingualism and biculturalism and should appeal to young readers. However, the tone of the whole collection feels disjointed, and the intended audience is unclear. Would readers who are compelled by the silly origin story of the author’s nickname on his first day of school be as engaged by the politics of dual-language education or by the poignant account of the evolution of the author’s relationship with his father as an adult? In some stories, the magic of spoken language is lost somewhere in the transition to the written word. For example, in “Lake View High School,” the vernacular that the author employs when describing how he presented the plot of Antigone to a group of urban high school students may soar when told aloud but is cringe-worthy to read from text.

Though the work falls apart as a cohesive collection, individual stories and the themes of bicultural identity and the bonds of family shine through. (Nonfiction. 8-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-938301-56-8

Page Count: 161

Publisher: Familius

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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CHARLES RICHARD DREW, M.D.

A ``First Book'' that introduces the pioneer behind the Red Cross Blood Bank. Wolfe sketches Drew's life as an athletic achiever, hard-pressed medical student, and distinguished researcher, teacher, and leader of his profession—an African American who battled racist restrictions with unyielding dignity. The result is a fairly well-rounded but unfocused portrait, limited by a lackluster style and infelicitous format in which the gratuitously tinted photos are captioned in the same type as the text. Although books on Drew are needed, this is marginal. Brief bibliography of dated and/or secondary sources; index.~(Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-531-20021-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1991

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A rather chaotic and messy tale of talent, determination, and success in the world of independent film and TV that hardcore...

LIKE BROTHERS

A quirky inside portrait of brotherhood within the “insane Hollywood system.”

Marx, Coen, Farrelly. Add to that list the Duplass brothers, who have been carving out a place for themselves as writers, directors, producers, and actors (Mark in The League, Jay in Transparent, etc.). In her foreword to this jumpy, eclectic collection of odds and ends, Mindy Kaling writes that the brothers are funny, “woke as hell,” and have a “tireless entrepreneurial spirit that inspires.” The brothers write that the book is “filled with essays on all kinds of things,” which isn’t exactly true. There are some—e.g., a short piece on why the band Air Supply is so good or the value of The Karate Kid Part II (even though “there are so many things wrong with this movie”)—but mostly this is a hodgepodge of autobiographical sketches, lists of favorite movies (actually the same list slightly edited over and over), emails, rough screenplays, advice to young filmmakers, Mark’s short story “The Blowjob,” edited by Jay, comments from their wives, and “Airport” 1-5, in which the brothers make up filmic scenarios inspired by the people they see walking and sitting about. We learn that they grew up outside New Orleans and had great boyhoods. Creative and ambitious kids, they played around with a video recorder their father gave them and started writing little scenarios and filming them. In 1996, they started Duplass Brothers Productions and got to work. We follow them in action as they fail (Vince del Rio) and succeed (Cyrus). They made The Puffy Chair for $10,000 and premiered it at the Sundance Film Festival. Other successes followed, including HBO’s Togetherness series (2015), until cancelled, and Room 104 (2017).

A rather chaotic and messy tale of talent, determination, and success in the world of independent film and TV that hardcore fans will enjoy.

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-101-96771-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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