A youthful, meandering journey of self-discovery through travel and love.

From an early age, Eaves (Bare: On Women, Dancing, Sex, and Power, 2002) considered travel to be liberation from home in Vancouver and romance with adventurous boys. As a young girl, she had lived with her family for a year in Valencia, Spain, where her father took an academic sabbatical and she attended school; the experience proved a charming entrée into a larger world. Inspired by a crush she developed as a teenager and who wrote her as he traveled the world, she pursued a job as a nanny in Valencia during a summer between attending the University of Washington, Seattle, and enjoyed late nights at bars and moonlit motorcycle rides as a break from her constricted days caring for two Spanish children. Study abroad took her to study Arabic at the American University in Cairo, where she was often followed and harassed by hostile men. A college internship in Karachi sponsored by the U.S. State Department led to more travel in the Middle East, rather than a career as a diplomat. Fleeing a boyfriend and house she had settled in after college in Seattle, she roamed Malaysia and then Australia. Back in the States, a segue into Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs got her a job as a journalist in London, and a trip to South America on the way. Finally, there was Dominic, whose diplomatic career took him, and her, to Paris, where she was stifled by the city’s “insufferable correctness.” In short, the author was plagued by her wanderlust, finding in most relationships a chronic unhappiness. Settling down with one man, she notes, would mean “banning myself from ever seeing another country”—something she recognizes with clear-eyed conviction she could never do.


Pub Date: June 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58005-311-2

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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


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

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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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