DATELINE

TORONTO : THE COMPLETE TORONTO STAR DISPATCHES, 1920-1924

The complete (174) Toronto Star pieces young Hemingway wrote after his return from WW I on his second job as a writer. At 18, before going to Italy for ambulance service, he'd spent six months as a cub on the Kansas City Star. During his four years (1920-24) as a Toronto free-lancer, Hemingway found himself steadily in print. Meanwhile, he was writing widely rejected short stories (overarch and stilted) and after a stretch in Toronto spent much of his time on the Continent, sending back dispatches. Hemingway the feature-writer burned with a hard flame that turned clichés to ash and left only a glowing, often mordant wit and a robust sense of language. Whatever other sources Hemingway's news style may have had, Ring Lardner is the most obvious—there are several laugh-out-loud heartfelt but deadpan parodies herein, especially of sports writing: "We were fishing for the rainbow trout where a little river comes into a lake and cuts a channel alongside the bank. Into the mouth of this river and the bay it empties into, big schools of rainbow trout come out of the big lake. They chase the shiners and young herring and you can see their back fins coming out of the water like porpoises with a shower of minnows shooting up into the air. Every once in a while a big trout will jump clear of the water with a noise like somebody throwing a bathtub into the lake." Whenever Hemingway touches on sports, especially fishing and camping, he exhales poetry. Often, however, both here and abroad, he feels the need to give his reader the "true facts" about some social condition or political figure, and we hear the first tones of the Papa of later years telling us how it truly was. Everything in Paris seems to bring him to bright attention, for example the Russian exiles selling their jewels, while waiting for something wonderful to happen back home. "There is a cafe on the Boulevard Montparnasse where a great number of Russians gather every day for this something wonderful to happen, and to recall the great old days of the Czar. But there is a great probability that nothing very wonderful nor unexpected will happen and then, eventually, like all the rest of the world, the Russians of Paris may have to go to work. It seems a pity, they are such a charming lot." As the dispatches gather, Hemingway becomes more densely knowledgable and one feels the very forests, small towns, train stops and wayside inns yielding copy to the stroke of his fingertips. And then, in one of his longest pieces, there is the explosion of carnival and the running of the bulls in Pamplona, where young Ernest, in writer's heaven, is sad and acidulous and giddy with action, color, girls, and the dangerous bulls—"they come out into the glare of the arena to die in the afternoon." Birth of a style heard round the world. Like early Tolstoy, the guy had something.

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 1985

ISBN: 0684188023

Page Count: 478

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1985

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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