Wilson-Lee enjoyably melds memoir, history, and literary travelogue to reveal the surprising hold that Shakespeare continues...



Pursuing the Bard across the history, geography, and culture of East Africa.

Wilson-Lee (English/Sidney Sussex Coll.; co-editor: Translation and the Book Trade in Early Modern Europe, 2014), who spent his childhood in East Africa and teaches Shakespeare, takes readers on a trek through Zanzibar, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Sudan to discover Shakespeare’s legacy on those areas. He begins with famous African explorers for whom Shakespeare was indispensable; Sir Richard Francis Burton carried a volume of Shakespeare while crossing both bog and savanna when he set out to find the source of the Nile. Henry Morton Stanley “recounted burning his copy of Shakespeare to mollify tribesmen who viewed his books as witchcraft. Wilson-Lee chronicles his visit to Zanzibar, the site of Edward Steere’s 1867 printing of the Hadithi za Kiingereza, a collection of four Shakespearean tales and one of the earliest printed publications in Swahili; and Mombasa, where, at the end of the 19th century, tens of thousands of Indians arrived to build the railways, bringing their love of Shakespeare with them. The author also discusses his visit to Makerere University in Kampala, where teaching and performance of Shakespeare flourished during the 1940s; Dar es Salaam, where the first president of Tanzania translated Julius Caesar and The Merchant of Venice into Swahili; and Ethiopia, where Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin won favor from Emperor Haile Selassie for his production of Othello. In Nairobi, on the grounds of the coffee farm described by Karen Blixen in Out of Africa, Wilson-Lee reminisces about his youth among the Gikuyu people there. At its core, Shakespeare in Swahililand is as much the author’s story as it is Shakespeare’s or Africa’s.

Wilson-Lee enjoyably melds memoir, history, and literary travelogue to reveal the surprising hold that Shakespeare continues to have on a culture remote from his own.

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-26207-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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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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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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