Essential truths in the rare and generous voice of a maestro.

READ REVIEW

I'M NOT HERE TO GIVE A SPEECH

A set of speeches given over the course of his long literary career offers snapshots of the Colombian author’s uniquely eloquent humanitarian voice and vision.

García Márquez (1927-2014), the author of such classics as One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera and winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature, was a passionate advocate for his Latin American culture and identity. In his Nobel speech, “The Solitude of Latin American,” he expresses his heartfelt hope that the Swedish Academy was ultimately recognizing through his work the underappreciated richness of the Latin American imagination, “because the greatest challenge for us has been the insufficiency of conventional devices to make our lives believable.” His idealistic vision of cultural rapprochement shines through many of these speeches, as he offers a plea for the convergence of sciences and arts (“for the questioning of both is the same over the same abyss”) and the significant role of the intellectual in society. Throughout his life, García Márquez was a fierce activist for social change. In “The Cataclysm of Damocles” (1986), he laments that in the nuclear age, the only reason we have not annihilated ourselves in a cosmic disaster is that “the preservation of human life on Earth continues to be cheaper than the nuclear plague. In “The Beloved Though Distant Homeland” (2003), delivered in Medellin, he rues Colombia’s devastating proliferation of narco-violence. Friendship forms the theme of two of the most affecting speeches, in which he celebrates the work of Álvaro Mutis (1993) and Julio Cortázar. Elsewhere, García Márquez reveals his deep roots in poetry and journalism. Regarding the latter, during a 1996 speech in Los Angeles, he presciently noted that the discipline was dangerously veering into a terrain of "innocent or deliberate mistakes, vicious manipulations, and venomous misrepresentations that give the news article the dimensions of a deadly weapon.”

Essential truths in the rare and generous voice of a maestro.

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-101-91118-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Vintage

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

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

Did you like this book?

MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more