Especially in contrast to Stephen Berg's comparable anthology, In Praise of What Persists (p. 216), this is an unimpressive gathering of essays and interviews—a few of which don't even provide what's promised in the title and subtitle. A memoir of John Berryman (by William Heyen) seems out of place here; so does an academic essay on love poetry—not at all "first person"—by Daniel Halpern. And the best pieces have all appeared before in book form: a John Updike credo from Picked-Up Pieces, Cynthia Ozick's much-encountered grappling with Henry James, Eudora Welty's fine "Words into Fiction" from The Eye of the Story. The more engaging items among the remainder are brisk, direct autobiographical sketches by Anne Tyler, Maxine Kumin, Francine du Plessix Gray, Alice Adams—and Mary Gordon. ("Above all I did not wish to be trivial; I did not wish to be embarrassing. But i did not want to write like Conrad, and I did not want to write like Henry James") Editor Oates offers her musings on "the ontological status of the writer who is also a woman?" Among the poets, Dave Smith is academic but at least clear, while John Hollander manages to be academic, mystical, and sentimental at the same time. And the speakers in the spotty, occasionally stimulating interviews include Saul Bellow, John Hawkes, E. L. Doctorow, Bernard Malamud, and Margaret Atwood. Unusually strong on female representation; otherwise—disappointing.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1983

ISBN: 0865380457

Page Count: 280

Publisher: Ontario Review

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1983

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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

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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

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