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A LONG WAY FROM ST. LOUIE

A lovely, lyrical memoir of an African-American woman's travels through life. McElroy (Queen of the Ebony Isles, etc.; English/Univ. of Washington) is a professor and poet with a yen for travel that goes back to her youth as an army brat and has continued throughout her life. Looking back at that life now, McElroy finds much that is amusing, thought-provoking, poignant, and above all beautiful to relate to her readers. This is not so much a travelogue, as the author herself admits, as a rumination, a meditation, a poem. McElroy tells us about learning to dance in St. Louis, about her experiences as a university student in postWW II Germany, her encounters with butterflies and intestinal ailments in Mexico, the limitations of tour groups and guides (``Here is the burial place of Saint What's-his-halo, and in that crypt, What's-his-sword the Great''), the difficulty of getting to Ulcinj in Yugoslavia (``An interesting place . . . but no one ever goes there''), and the importance of a smile in Japan (``a land where everything was compact and space was at a premium''). She writes prose poems about the midnight market in Lima, Peru, and a series of lyrical pieces, ``The Moon and Malaysia,'' that flow in and out of time and space. And through it all, McElroy's marvelous sense of humor shines out and her deeply felt sense of her otherness—as an American abroad and as a black woman everywhere—colors her musings, giving them texture and depth. This is a stunning piece of writing, and a fitting summary of a life led to the fullest.

Pub Date: April 30, 1997

ISBN: 1-56689-059-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Coffee House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1997

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THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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