A.D.

A MEMOIR

Millett might have made this memoir into a gorgeous requiem for her longtime idol, her Aunt Dorothy, but in the end she reduces it to a tedious song for herself. The death of Millett's venerable and sophisticated aunt (jokingly referred to as A.D. by the author and her sisters) is the occasion for this indulgently digressive book. Bookish, young, and aspiring to greatness, Millett was for years infatuated with the wealthy, beautiful, and brilliant A.D. She desired her aunt romantically, loved everything about her, strove endlessly to please her, but then alienated her irredeemably by secretly taking a female lover to live with her when she went to study at Oxford. A.D. funded the education and forbade the lover, and when she uncovered her niece's deception, she never forgave her for the transgression or the lie. During their years of estrangement, Millett became an adult whom her aunt could never approve ofa lesbian, an artist, the author of controversial books (Sexual Politics, 1970, etc.). But she recognized the irony that these things never could have been possible without A.D.'s influence, mentorship, and money. Before the two ever make peace, A.D. dies alone in her giant house in Minneapolis, leaving Millett to cope on her own. A.D. is a tale of love, loss, and coming to terms that can move one to tears. But it can also make one howl in frustration, as A.D.'s story becomes a springboard for Millett to take measure of absolutely everything in her own life: her personal finances, the management of her women's art collective/Christmas tree farm, ruminations over lovers past, endless what-ifs. When Millett tells herself to finally ``let go'' in the book's closing lines, the reader is likely to concur.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-393-03524-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1995

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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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IN MY PLACE

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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