THE WORD WOMAN

AND OTHER RELATED WRITINGS

Laura (Riding) Jackson (1901-91) is being rediscovered with a vengeance: Within 18 months of her death, her early unpublished poems, her selected poems, a biography, and this collection of prose pieces (most previously unpublished) will have appeared. The central essays here, ``The Word `Woman,' '' takes up over half the volume. Written in Mallorca in the mid-1930's, the manuscript was abandoned there with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and returned to Jackson only in the 1970's. In the essay, she proposes to ``extricate'' woman from male mythological and historical perceptions of her, to examine the differences between the sexes to explain ``not only woman herself, but man as well,'' and to ``establish, finally, the unity of all being.'' Jackson is an arch dogmatist, proceeding by sweeping knowledge, uncorrupted by the historical realities, and her conclusion (``To be a woman finally is to be truth'') falls a little flat on a late-20th- century ear. But the essay does provide insight into her struggle as a woman writer against the effort of her long-time companion, Robert Graves, to capture her as his ``muse.'' Written decades after their breakup, her 1975 essay on Graves's treatise The White Goddess betrays the persistence of her effort to ``extricate'' her imagination from Graves's equally persistent mythologizing of ``woman.'' Also included here are an affected and unsatisfying short story, ``Woman as People''; a brisk parable, ``Eve's Side of It''; and a forbiddingly abstract 1974 piece entitled ``The Sex Factor in Social Progress.'' Unlike previous reprints of her stories and poetry, this collection exhibits neither the wit nor the genius that Jackson always claimed for herself, and that many others claim for her. For the cognoscenti only.

Pub Date: May 3, 1993

ISBN: 0-89255-184-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1993

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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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