A succinct and sometimes-engaging, if occasionally cloudy, account of a long life.


A debut portrait of a Chinese American woman from Hawaii, compiled from interviews by her son.

Wong presents the story of his mother, Katherine “Katy” C. Wong (1928-2014), in her own words, drawing from conversations that he, her eldest child, conducted in the latter part of her life between 2005 and 2009. She was born in Honolulu, where she worked at her family’s laundry business before graduating high school in 1946. Two years later, she married. She was soon with child, although later, after having multiple children, her doctor advised her husband to refrain from getting her pregnant “all the time,” she said. In 1960, the young family settled in Hayward, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. There, Katy worked various jobs, including at a Jack LaLanne Hi-Protein bar factory. Later in life, she professed a fondness for gambling (“I play blackjack. I’m good at it”) and she enjoyed giving protein bars away to people when traveling. Along with Katy’s own words, the book also features an array of color and black-and-white images from her life, depicting such things as the first home that she and her husband purchased and travel documents from a trip to China. At fewer than 70 pages in length, including pictures, the memoir moves along very quickly. However, some of her memories lack explanation and detail, perhaps due, in part, to the effects of a stroke, as the editor points out in a preface. She says at one point, for example, that her deceased husband and daughter “can play Japanese cards,” although what this refers to is unclear; she also doesn’t talk in detail about what it was like to work in a Jack LaLanne factory, or what her first impressions of California were. Still, Katy’s statements can carry plenty of emotional weight at times: “I feel sorry that the doctor told him you don’t get Katy upset because she is already downhill.”

A succinct and sometimes-engaging, if occasionally cloudy, account of a long life.

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-949723-53-3

Page Count: 66

Publisher: Bookwhip Company

Review Posted Online: Jan. 29, 2020

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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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