Even for those who have studied Said for years, this will provide a welcome reminder of his unique talent for distillation...

A chronological annotated sampling of key works from one of the most articulate, insightful, and controversial minds of our time.

Said (The End of the Peace Process, p. 365, etc.) is best known for his writings on Palestine. This collection, compiled by Bayoumi and Rubin (two of his students), includes selected excerpts from both his well-known and his more obscure texts. For scholars it is a reminder of the breadth and diversity of Said’s works, while for the uninitiated it will stand as a timely introduction to the thorny questions underlying politics and conflict in the modern Middle East. Of critical importance to students of history, literature, anthropology, and politics (to name but a few), Said’s passionate and studied investigation of subjects ranging from Joseph Conrad, Yeats, and Jane Austen to Zionism, the Middle East peace process, and decolonization are united in theme by their common consideration of the nature of life in exile. The author’s constant return to his own experience as a Palestinian exile speaks to one of his greatest contributions to the field of cultural studies: the idea that all knowledge is produced by real people informed by their surroundings. It is to this end that the format of the collection is particularly effective, for it provides a sense of the author’s personal and political context through the ordered assemblage of works chronicling his development as a writer, and aided in no small part by Bayoumi and Rubin’s commentary on the climate in which each piece was written and the manner in which each was received.

Even for those who have studied Said for years, this will provide a welcome reminder of his unique talent for distillation and clarity—and of his courage in the quest for truth, empathy, and justice.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2000

ISBN: 0-375-70936-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Vintage

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2000



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955