IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS

A SOUTH AFRICAN MEMOIR

The autobiography of renowned anti-apartheid politician Suzman—who kept the faith and fought the good fight in South Africa's long dark night of shame—that not only ``relives a magnificent battle against apartheid'' but reminds us how daunting that fight was. Following a foreword by Nelson Mandela that acknowledges her ``forthrightness and political astuteness,'' Suzman details just how those qualities shaped her long years in South African politics as a fierce opponent of the Nationalist government and as an equally fierce supporter of justice. In a memoir that's more political than personal, she describes only briefly her childhood as the younger daughter of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe; her marriage to a local physician; and her return to college after the birth of her two daughters, where she lectured in economics until her work in local politics led her in 1953 to become a member of Parliament—a position she held until 1989, when she retired. It was from the beginning an uphill fight, as the Nationalists moved to entrench apartheid, the then-opposition party split, and, in 1961, Suzman became the sole representative of the Progressive Party in Parliament—which she remained until 1974. The author had to fight not only male chauvinism and anti-Semitism but also a relentless legislative assault on justice and human rights—an assault that she valiantly opposed through legislation, speeches, and a tireless commitment to helping those most affected by it. Suzman visited prisons, including the notorious Robben Island; intervened personally wherever she could—though disliking her politics, many Nationalists admired her spunk—and was a crucial player in all the great political issues of those years. Today, she's not as optimistic as she used to be about the future, ``but we have to try democracy to show that it will work.'' An inspiring record of courage and principle modestly recalled—and a distinguished contribution to the history of both apartheid and women in politics.

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 1993

ISBN: 0-679-40985-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1993

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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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

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