Heimel's new collection takes up where her last one (If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead Yet?, 1991) ended: In 36 short pieces previously published in Playboy, the Village Voice, and the Independent, the humorist parades the goofy, smart, obsessive-yet-perceptive persona that many downtown Manhattan- dwellers have come to identify with. But this time, she shows us a little more of her mature, maternal, responsible side before slipping in the news that she's defected for California to write for a sitcom. Maybe that's why she sounds happier and more relaxed. In five pieces that fall under the heading ``Feminist Rants,'' Heimel demonstrates her mastery of the endlessly thorny subject of men: ``A woman needs a man like a fish needs a net,'' she says, beefing up Gloria Steinem's flip 70's slogan that ``A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.'' Times are tougher now than they were in the 70's, and Heimel envies the easy confidence that she's seen lesbians demonstrate: ``I remember only once in my life feeling as content and confident as these women: It was 1979 and I was out of my mind on a combination of Quaaludes and cocaine. This method no longer strikes me as practical.'' But in short pieces on her brief stint as a welfare mother, and in the angry, zingy ``How to Be Creative,'' she tells us how she got tough enough to let her talent shine through, showing us the seatless toilets in the welfare office and all the twisted little jokes and reflections she had along her difficult way. And in many little pieces on shopping (including the buying of deliciously vengeful Christmas gifts) and on life in L.A., as well as in further thoughts on guys, Heimel demonstrates that a good writer can peer over the edge of middle-aged looniness without quite falling in. Funny and smart: a great way for beset urban women to chase the blues.

Pub Date: June 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-87113-538-8

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1993

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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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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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