Dazzles with its fantastic variety.


Stellar work with a 360-degree gaze, reporting on places both exotic and familiar.

Mayes (Bella Tuscany, 1999, etc.), assuming the annual’s editing tasks for the first time, selects glimpses of places that run the gamut from the middle of nowhere, as in Michael Finkel’s piece on “The Void” (a.k.a. the center of the Sahara desert), to the middle of everything, as in Adam Gopnik’s report from NYC immediately following the September 11 terrorist attack, “The City and the Pillars.” Not surprisingly, 9/11 is acknowledged in a number of essays, most specifically in Thomas Swick’s thoughts on languishing air travel at the end of 2001 and in Scott Anderson’s “Below Canal Street.” The anticipated exotic spots, however, are also solidly represented: Laurence Gonzales sets out to visit the least inhabited area of the US in “Beyond the End of the Road,” Tony Perottet rambles through Menorca in “Spain in a Minor Key,” and Kevin Canty tours the folksy American landscape in the evocative “Postcards from the Fair.” Particularly hypnotic is Isabella Tree’s portrait of languid living on the Aegean island of Spetses. At one point, honeybees set up shop in the bathroom, whereupon the house’s human tenants set out bowls to catch the honey to sweeten their bread and yogurt—a demonstration of sangfroid difficult to imagine occurring in the prosaic continental US. The collection is larded with impressive pieces from ringers: P.J. O’Rourke offers a remarkably upbeat travelogue of a recent driving tour of Israel; Molly O’Neill pays a visit to former Le Cirque chef Sottha Khunn at his childhood home in Cambodia; and David Sedaris turns a cancelled flight into an absurdist meditation.

Dazzles with its fantastic variety.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2002

ISBN: 0-618-11879-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2002

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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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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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