A thoroughly researched and intensely moving remembrance.




In this debut memoir, a Jewish American woman charts her family’s escape from Nazi-occupied Europe and celebrates the memory of a sibling she never met.

It was a hot afternoon in July 1956 when Halperin discovered that she had a sister. The 11-year-old author was enjoying a picnic with her parents in Bear Mountain State Park in New York when her father, Ignas, had a chance encounter with a fellow Polish refugee. The meeting led to a revelation that the author’s older sibling, Yvonne, had died while the family was fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe for America. However, Halperin had been unaware of her existence. The author begins the narrative by documenting her parents’ lives in Poland before World War II. She describes how her mother spoke of her youth in Lodz as “a great life…a life full of family all around.” Her parents married in 1935 and later relocated to Brussels, where Ignas opened a shoe shop. Yvonne was born in 1938, and the following year, Germany invaded Poland. By 1940, the family joined the crowds of desperate refugees intent on escape. Halperin follows her family’s passage through Bordeaux, France, to Portugal and onward to Jamaica where, tragically, Yvonne died following a bicycle accident. Presented in landscape orientation and in full color, the book records a journey of terror, hope, and loss, using family photographs, letters, and legal documents. It’s like being allowed access to a family’s private archive, and Halperin’s erudite, tender prose carefully explains the significance of each and every slip of paper. For instance, regarding her mother’s application for a U.S. immigration visa, she writes, “Hala tightened her grip on the pen. She pictured the marble stone they placed above Yvonne’s grave and with a heartache that was unbearable, she wrote: ‘I have no children.’ ” The author’s laconic but powerfully evocative style allows the reader to step back to the very moment when this heartbreaking declaration was made. Overall, this is an important and deeply personal memoir that vividly documents the struggles of a refugee family.

A thoroughly researched and intensely moving remembrance.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-692-84489-2

Page Count: 86

Publisher: JMA Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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


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?

No Comments Yet