An intense, action-packed encounter with the Chatino-speaking cultures of Southwest Mexico.

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SOLID FOOD IS FOR ADULTS

A PIONEERING VENTURE WITH WYCLIFFE IN MOUNTAINOUS SOUTH-WEST MEXICO

Two Bible translators’ in-depth look at rural Southwest Mexico before the arrival of modern communication technology.

The Prides walk the reader through their 40 years of living mainly among the Chatino-speaking indigenous minority in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Hired by Wycliffe Bible Translators to learn the ancient language, develop it into a written form and translate Christian scriptures for the people, the Prides arrived in 1964 and encountered a close-knit society isolated from the world by distance, language and culture—not to mention a lack of roads. Chronicling their arrival, subsequent trips to larger population centers and furloughs back to England, the book readily reveals the difficulties in the Prides’ calling. Crushing poverty, illiteracy, intestinal parasites, tuberculosis and malnourishment plague the native population and the Prides battle a seemingly endless stream of setbacks. Along the way, they forge friendships, bring basic medical attention to people desperately in need, encourage learning and literacy and make a difference in the lives of people they meet. At times, the numerous characters introduced can be confusing, and people essential to the story could be fleshed out more thoroughly. Despite hurricanes, dengue fever and cholera, progress eventually arrives in the form of logging roads and satellite telephones. With the assistance of several Chatino speakers, scriptures are translated, explained and relayed orally to others in the town as interest grows. But with the growth of the new faith, generations of families split from each other and marriages change as the old customs still hold sway. As the work progresses from handwritten notes to organized material typed on a manual typewriter, the reader gains insight into the effort needed to undertake a major translation project. Along the way, the voice and tone of the narration moves from a tone of frustration to one of comfort and acceptance of the progress being made despite the setbacks. Toward the end of the book, the narration feels choppy and hurried and the final pages feel forced and tight, lacking the warmth found in earlier chapters.

An intense, action-packed encounter with the Chatino-speaking cultures of Southwest Mexico.

Pub Date: April 6, 2007

ISBN: 978-1425983192

Page Count: 244

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2011

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

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

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

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