A vivid and emotionally felt account of full engagement with the world.

MY NAME IS Y

This memoir, a collection of 25 short essays, looks back on a Northern California woman’s life as an activist, writer, wife, and mother.

As Stock (Three Tales From the Archives of Love, 2018, etc.) explains in an epilogue dated Valentine’s Day 2018, the pieces assembled here were written 32 years ago, in the mid-1980s. The author refers to herself and others only by initials. For example, she is Y; her husband M; their elder daughter R; middle child A, a girl; and their youngest, a boy, B. Each chapter is a stand-alone essay on topics that include Stock’s anguish about nuclear testing and the Chernobyl disaster; family memories and events; dreams; moments of reflection; and nature. Many chapters begin with (and are punctuated by) the time of day, as the author ranges between present-day events and recollections of the past. Her close observation of everyday life brings a poetic quality to the essays. The voice is lyrical and the overall tone poignant, with even moments of joy often being threaded through with an awareness of complicity in and responsibility to stand against the world’s injustices. In an essay about Memorial Day and the Vietnam War, for example, Stock recalls the birth of her son and how the words “It’s a boy” signified “the moment I became a conscious political being.” Years later, seeing the movie Platoon with her son, he jerks at the violence onscreen; she writes, “If I am weeping, it is only because I am alive.” On a few occasions, the tone can become overwrought; the opening piece, in particular, on the Hiroshima bombing, uncomfortably over-identifies the narrator, a Marin County woman married to a surgeon, with the Japanese victims. She speaks in their voice—“I am the prolonged taste of tortured matter”—and performs activities (including driving her Volvo, swimming laps, and crossing the street) “in memory of the bombing of Hiroshima.” But the author’s thoughtfulness usually prevents didacticism.

A vivid and emotionally felt account of full engagement with the world.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-60052-154-6

Page Count: 149

Publisher: Norfolk Press

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

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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

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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