The story of the writing, publication, and court battles of Donleavy's classic novel The Ginger Man—never out of print since first publication by Olympia Press in 1955. A high Augustan and mock-Irish poetic aloofness carapaciously enshells and protects the bare-bottomed innocence of this banned, reviled, and adored author now 67 or so no comma please who indulges throughout in a gentleman's tweedily snug and pluperfect wordsmanship both lyrical and in silverpoint sentence fragments, a snob's game at times oddly self-sinking. How was it that the Bronx- born writer-citizen of Ireland was seemingly bound hand and foot by porno publisher Maurice Girodias before the game was by fortune reversed, sublimely, for the wild ginger man? Attending Trinity College in Dublin on the GI Bill, ``Mike'' Donleavy fell in with old Navy buddy Gainor Stephen Crist, who lent his personal flavor to Donleavy's hero Sebastian Dangerfield, the ginger man, as did a second friend, Dublin publisher John Ryan. These charmers ``savored language, rolled it about on the tongue, tasted for its vintage and measuredly rationed it out to the waiting ears.'' Donleavy's boozing comrade, spit-in-yer-eye Irish playwright Brendan Behan, clearly lends a bounce to Dangerfield as well. Young Donleavy, poor as an outhouse rat, marries, moves his bride to a cheap cottage in Kilcoole, and begins his four-year stint of writing a first novel, The Ginger Man, some of whose unedited, unused, or misbegotten passages here rise in blood from the page. We are lip-lickingly compelled to await the arrival of villainous publisher Girodias, who when he does show up after 400 pages seems a reasonable if greedy fellow whose villainy has been as overblown as Donleavy's grandiosity, which in fact is all style overlying tubby substance. Even so: often quite wonderful, especially about Behan and Crist. Donleavy's unbuttoned best in 40 years, as unbalanced as The Ginger Man.

Pub Date: March 17, 1994

ISBN: 0-395-51595-5

Page Count: 518

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1994

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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

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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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