WHITE WRITING

ON THE CULTURE OF LETTERS IN SOUTH AFRICA

South African novelist Coetzee (Waiting for the Barbarians, 1982; Life & Times of Michael K, 1984) is a professor as well at the University of Cape Town—and this collection of seven essays about writings by whites in South Africa has a fashionable structuralist feel to it. To wit: though Coetzee is unable to honestly recommend (or even tempt the reader's interest) with the writers he deals with—C.M. van den Heever, Pauline Smith, Olive Schreiner, Alan Paton, Sarah Gertrude Millin—the forms and subjects and procedures they use are assumed to be (and are in fact) far more telling than any particular work. Coetzee will home in on the interpretations South African writers (mostly precontemporary) have given certain concepts—the sublime, the picturesque, idleness, the farm, blood—and find each time another wrinkle in the fabric of racist empowerment this culture has developed. Coetzee is such a good structuralist, in fact, that the quotations from the writers he's writing about seem almost beside the point, mere buttresses. What is inescapable, however, is a reader's conclusion that South African writing's golden age is not then but now—as it worries the bone of previous barbarisms of attitude, the cultural determinism, in the in-every-way pale tradition Coetzee details.

Pub Date: April 13, 1988

ISBN: 0300048629

Page Count: 208

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1988

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

Did you like this book?

more