AS LONG AS SARAJEVO EXISTS

The gripping and poignant account of the survival of Sarajevo's daily newspaper and the abiding ideal of peaceful coexistence that it symbolizes. For over four years, working against material, financial, and personal obstacles (the paper was eventually produced out of the building's bomb shelter), the multiethnic staff of Oslobodjenje kept their paper going. But Kurspahi, its editor in chief during the war, does more than just narrate their story. He places his paper's struggle in the broader context of events in the former Yugoslavia. This was not a civil war, he argues, but one against civilians and their culture, a war against cosmopolitanism. An early chapter covers the initial phase of the paper's ``liberation,'' which saw its transformation from a Communist- controlled daily to one characterized by principles of liberalism and pluralism, and a commitment to peaceful coexistence. For the first time, its staff freely elected editors and selected the stories they would cover, including regular reports on events in other republics. At a time of poor communication and increasing political control, Kurspahi's paper provided perhaps the last true reflection of current events. Kurspahi captures how Sarajevo blossomed, becoming ``an arena for popular self-expression,'' an antidote to the growing chauvinism and intolerance in other republics. In the chapter on the paper in wartime, Kurspahi deftly interweaves the personal and professional, creating a clear parallel between the enormous sacrifices made by Oslobodjenje's staff to keep the paper going and the heroic efforts of Bosnia's citizens to defend their homes, neighbors, and ideals. In the process, he presents the dramatic and often tragic struggles of colleagues, friends, strangers, and public figures. The war may be over and the country divided, but, Kurspahi asserts, a unified Bosnia and its culture will survive as long as the spirit of Oslobodjenje ``defends her essence and keeps faith with memory.''

Pub Date: April 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-9630587-7-0

Page Count: 350

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1997

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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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DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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