A guide to embracing and understanding the later stages of life.
In her debut, Schoenholz coins a new term for an older woman whose children have left home and whose career is likely winding down. She calls her a Belledame, a term that invokes “the beautiful and the mature” and “[she] who moves into elderhood with grace and joy.” After some heavy reflection, the author, a Belledame herself, writes, “I should be moving from the ‘bucolic’ family life I had already experienced...toward the ‘city’ of the future.” Readers learn about her journey toward self-acceptance through journal entries, short poems and illustrations. The author certainly practices what she preaches, as she found a second career as an archaeologist after her children left home. The prospect of rediscovering herself clearly excites her, although she knows that she and other women have their work cut out for them: “I suspect that the better we have been at being the Mother, the harder it will be to become the Belledame. I am discovering…certain freedoms that I long ago suppressed, or repressed, in favor of focus on my family.” Her sentiments are likely to resonate with readers of a certain generation, as will her thoughts on the responsibilities of grandmothering, how to travel as an older person and what sorts of personal accomplishments are worth celebrating. There are a few weak spots, some of them technical: Most of the book is presented in a typeface that isn’t easy on the eyes, and the author quotes Wikipedia as a primary source. There’s also an underdeveloped section about quantum physics and a discussion of personal symbols that seems like it was more helpful for the writer’s own personal journey than it will be for her readers’. But Schoenholz is a likable, honest writer (“So, getting old is indeed a bitch”), and her goal of “[d]ancing down to death” may inspire others to make the most of their older years.
A kind, intimate manual to growing old that isn’t radical but is reassuring and sweet.

Pub Date: May 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1497573260

Page Count: 114

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

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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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