Though Laurie’s memory lane lacks the structural cohesion of a novel, her stubborn perseverance guarantees plenty of...



A highly readable memoir traces Rubin’s journey from pampered child to acclaimed mezzo-soprano.

A story that begin with a bookworm and culminates with a rising star explores blindness, sexuality and the everyday growing pains of a talented young woman. Born blind, Laurie is lucky enough to have adoring, well-to-do parents. They grant her not only a first-rate education, but skiing trips, tours of Europe and—most importantly—voice lessons. Laurie excels despite a society that disables her. She argues with directors who claim they lack “the time or resources” to work with blind singers; she approaches museums about their lack of tactile exhibits; she takes cooking classes to fill knowledge gaps left by a doting mother who protected her from learning basic life skills. Even as Laurie practices her arias and trains her new guide dog, she also learns to live openly as a lesbian. Coming out is relatively easy at college, but in post-university life, many see Laurie (a visibly disabled white woman) with her Japanese-American girlfriend and label Jenny the “Asian helper.” Laurie focuses on what she can do, rather than on any perceived lacks, so it’s no surprise when she successfully becomes an opera singer. Lyrical interludes evocatively communicate Laurie’s sense of color.

Though Laurie’s memory lane lacks the structural cohesion of a novel, her stubborn perseverance guarantees plenty of colorful anecdotes . (Memoir. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-60980-424-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Seven Stories

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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A rather chaotic and messy tale of talent, determination, and success in the world of independent film and TV that hardcore...


A quirky inside portrait of brotherhood within the “insane Hollywood system.”

Marx, Coen, Farrelly. Add to that list the Duplass brothers, who have been carving out a place for themselves as writers, directors, producers, and actors (Mark in The League, Jay in Transparent, etc.). In her foreword to this jumpy, eclectic collection of odds and ends, Mindy Kaling writes that the brothers are funny, “woke as hell,” and have a “tireless entrepreneurial spirit that inspires.” The brothers write that the book is “filled with essays on all kinds of things,” which isn’t exactly true. There are some—e.g., a short piece on why the band Air Supply is so good or the value of The Karate Kid Part II (even though “there are so many things wrong with this movie”)—but mostly this is a hodgepodge of autobiographical sketches, lists of favorite movies (actually the same list slightly edited over and over), emails, rough screenplays, advice to young filmmakers, Mark’s short story “The Blowjob,” edited by Jay, comments from their wives, and “Airport” 1-5, in which the brothers make up filmic scenarios inspired by the people they see walking and sitting about. We learn that they grew up outside New Orleans and had great boyhoods. Creative and ambitious kids, they played around with a video recorder their father gave them and started writing little scenarios and filming them. In 1996, they started Duplass Brothers Productions and got to work. We follow them in action as they fail (Vince del Rio) and succeed (Cyrus). They made The Puffy Chair for $10,000 and premiered it at the Sundance Film Festival. Other successes followed, including HBO’s Togetherness series (2015), until cancelled, and Room 104 (2017).

A rather chaotic and messy tale of talent, determination, and success in the world of independent film and TV that hardcore fans will enjoy.

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-101-96771-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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A collection of letters, recording Forster's remembrances of India and written during his visits in 1912-13 and again in 1921 when he served briefly as secretary to the Maharajah of Dewas. Not only do these enchanting letters tell of the social and religious life, the Maharajah's marital and family problems, his political intrigues, but they tell a great deal about Forster himself. For those who remember his famous book, A Passage to India, they throw light on much that the book revealed. The quality of the letters, written to friends and family, is such that they seem to have been written for the reader. Before their close, one feels that a close personal friend has shared his impressions of India through a delightful correspondence. In any list, this book will stand high for literary favor.

Pub Date: June 15, 1953

ISBN: 0156402653

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1953

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