Inevitably, there are a few clunkers, but this is a strong gathering in both its parts and its sum.

READ REVIEW

HER TEXAS

STORY, IMAGE, POEM & SONG

Spirited, appropriately oversized anthology of Texas-centric creative work by women from the Lone Star State.

Gathering poems, nonfiction, stories, and images, this collection explores the premise, as lead editor Walker-Nixon (Canaan's Oothoon, 2010) writes, that “women form a large part of the backbone of Texas storytelling and art, despite the fact that the existence of female mythmakers has all too often been overlooked.” That seems almost self-evident: the genres associated with Texas have been dominated by male writers, a point the thoughtful introductory essay by the late folklorist Lou Rodenberger details while arguing for greater inclusiveness. The present anthology proposes any number of women to join their ranks, with a particularly strong showing in fiction; too many of the poems are just limping prose with line breaks—though that is true everywhere. Not all the work is set directly in Texas. Some poems and stories wander to New York City, others deep into Mexico, but in the main, they partake of the state’s storied sense of independence and assertiveness. The editors strive for, and attain, a good balance of old and new and of ethnicities and ages. Though there are a couple of gaps and missing names (LaVerne Harrell Clark, Becky Patterson), some of the state’s better-known writers make appearances—e.g., Naomi Shihab Nye, Carmen Tafolla, and Sandra Cisneros. As Willie Nelson can attest—and as Kathleen Hudson’s thoughtful introductory essay to a gallery of lyrics shows—women are particularly well-represented in the ranks of Texas songwriters; the anthology includes selections from the always excellent Tish Hinojosa, as well as Amanda Pearcy, Emy Taylor, and others. Their commentary on their lyrics is a lagniappe, a bayou country term of art that the editors employ in a closing section comprising their own work.

Inevitably, there are a few clunkers, but this is a strong gathering in both its parts and its sum.

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60940-423-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Wings Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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

Did you like this book?

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more