Often funny and occasionally bleak, this is a captivating look at the "Age of Un-Innocence,'' in a city in which the...

SEX AND THE CITY

Fascinating and haunting insights into the love lives of the rich and randy in New York.

Bushnell has gleaned pieces from her popular New York Observer column and combined them into an oddly touching collection. While the privileged, beautiful, pony-skin-boot-wearing folk she reports on seem ripe for parody, Bushnell has chosen to humanize them. The earlier articles feature Bushnell herself; she wisely removes herself from the later pieces, writing with the detached grace of an early Didion, and allows her friend (and alter ego?) Carrie to do the reporting. In one story, Carrie and her friends journey to Connecticut's wealthy suburbs to attend a wedding shower, complaining all the way. Bushnell perfectly captures the poignant moment when the New York group, glossy and single, realize that they are in fact jealous of their settled friend. The realization leads to a series of confessions: One woman nervously admits that she broke her ankle while rollerblading in an attempt to impress the younger man she was dating. Many of these pieces focus on the rise and fall of Carrie's relationship with "Mr. Big,'' who is a better date than most of the model-obsessed men she meets, but who is a "toxic bachelor'' (unappreciative, self-centered, allergic to commitment) all the same. Bushnell's point, at its simplest level, is that what the glamorous women she writes about really want is a husband. But her writing is more sensitive than that, subtly catching the ways in which, beneath the veneer of Manolo Blahnik shoes and the eternal round of parties and the late nights at trendy bars, New York is a cruel place for smart, older women. Whatever lip service their male peers pay to equality, what men want is perpetual youth.

Often funny and occasionally bleak, this is a captivating look at the "Age of Un-Innocence,'' in a city in which the glittering diversions don't quite make up for the fact that "Cupid has flown the coop.''

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-87113-642-2

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1996

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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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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