A brief, fascinating look at the virtues and vices of wanderlust.


In her memoir, Hyatt recounts her experiences traveling peripatetically for years with her family.

Debut author Hyatt was born and raised in California and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1950 with a degree in zoology. She landed a position as a lab technician at the Atomic Energy Commission while her soon-to-be husband, Pete, was drafted into the Korean War. In 1951 they wed and moved to Virginia, where he was stationed. Pete was hired by United States Rubber International—a company with interests all over the world—and in 1956, after a stint in New York, they moved to Guatemala with their two young daughters. That trip launched years of breakneck travel across three continents, including stays in El Salvador, Iran, Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. There was never a shortage of hurdles to clear—unfamiliar languages, radically divergent cultures, and a host of logistical problems, including finding adequate health care and education for the children. In some cases, political unrest and violence loomed over them as grim realities. While in Colombia, a family the author befriended was subjected to the kidnapping and ransoming of their son. There was also family conflict—Pete’s parents strenuously objected to their grandchildren being moved to Tehran. The sometimes-exciting but also alienating effects of serial dislocation finally took their toll on Hyatt’s marriage, which ultimately ended in divorce. The author often supplements her narrative with letters she wrote at the time to her mother, which are like little epistolary time capsules. And while the focus of the remembrance is personal and familial, the historical backdrop often referenced is the Cold War and the way geopolitical circumstances affected this band of expatriates. The author writes in clear, accessible prose and is impressively forthcoming. Also, the memoir is a kind of historical travelogue, vividly depicting quarters of the world not always traveled by Westerners. Hyatt’s work is not a philosophically minded retrospective, and so the reader looking for more in-depth commentary on world affairs, or even her own life, might be disappointed. Interspersed throughout the book are black-and-white photographs chronicling the author’s travels, some of them grainy from age and most of them personal.

A brief, fascinating look at the virtues and vices of wanderlust.

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-692-81386-7

Page Count: 166

Publisher: Chris Culler

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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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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