An aural and visual immersion like no other, showing the dimensions that “books” can explore onscreen that they can’t in...

TWICE UPON A TIME

LISTENING TO NEW YORK

A visionary e-book exploring the medium’s multimedia possibilities while offering meditations on the sounds of New York and the life and work of the late street composer Moondog.

Though Kunzru has earned international acclaim for his novels (Gods Without Men, 2012, etc.), he has never written anything quite like this—and neither has anyone else. In fact, “written” might be the wrong word, for this melding of sense, sound and illustration might as well be described as having been constructed, designed or curated. The content of the 6,200-word “immersive essay” can’t be separated from the way readers apprehend the words on the screen. Often, a page of text reveals itself in sections, with different typography, all the while accompanied by the sounds of the city and the percussion of Moondog. As a newcomer to the city transplanted from England, Kunzru chose Moondog as his guide, notwithstanding the fact that the musician was blind and had died in 1999. The author, whose brother is blind, thought that what some might see as a handicap could be a virtue: “The blind develop an appreciation for precision, repetition, knowability.” Though Moondog left New York in 1974 for Germany, his music, influence and legacy live on. As someone who once lived in the spare room of composer Philip Glass and performed with musicians as disparate as Charlie Parker, Peter Seeger and Tiny Tim, the composer and percussionist embodied something essential and ineffable about New York for the newcomer. Kunzru’s meditation reflects not only what remains of Moondog’s legacy, but what has changed so profoundly over the city’s subsequent decades. This work reflects the experience of Kunzru’s first six months in the city, six years ago; he has now married and moved to Brooklyn.

An aural and visual immersion like no other, showing the dimensions that “books” can explore onscreen that they can’t in print.

Pub Date: May 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-937894-34-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Atavist Books

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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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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