A continuation of the story begun in Yang's unique chronicle of her father's boyhood in China during the 1930s and '40s, Baba: A Return to China Upon My Father's Shoulders (1994). In this volume, now a strong-willed 17-year-old, Baba leaves the family home in Manchuria in search of a new life. WW II has recently ended, and the nation is in turmoil. Trusting neither the Communists nor the Nationalists, he makes his way warily through a tumultuous countryside. He watches as the Communists open fire on a group of students and witnesses paranoid eruptions of violence in the villages. Yet he also encounters kindness and is sheltered early on in a monastery where an old abbott tries to teach him detachment: ``If one . . . sees the world of appearances as transitory, one will transcend the pain, the pain of restless longing and discontent; only then will one be released from the endless cycles of suffering.'' But Baba wants to experience the world, and eventually he ends up in Taiwan teaching Mandarin and hygiene to an unpolished, isolated tribe distinguished by their tattooed faces. Shortly afterward he meets his wife-to-be. It isn't the stylistic merit of Yang's prose (which sometimes has a clichÇd, stilted sound) that makes her books so appealing, but rather the sense of an odyssey undertaken and of wonderful things revealed. Baba's fascination with life, his desire to learn, sustain him in the face of violence and treachery. The 20 colorful, elegiac paintings by Yang that accompany the text, populated by bald smiling baby heads and animals, convey the same sense of imminent magic and of fluid, changeable life. Yang's work has the feel of oral history and folk narrative commingled and begs to be read aloud. A talented, highly original blend of vivid family history and art. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100175-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1996

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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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