Clunky title (American Sign Language for ``missing the boat'') aside: a sensitive report on one year in the life of N.Y.C.'s Lexington School for the Deaf. Cohen, who teaches at Emerson College, is well situated to be Lexington's chronicler: Her father, Oscar, is the school's superintendent; her deaf grandfather, Sam, was a student there 75 years ago; and the author herself—who can hear—attended classes there as a preschooler. She writes at a time when Lexington is coming to terms with the deaf-pride movement, initiated in 1988 with a student rebellion at Gallaudet University, over the appointment of a hearing president. Lexington, Cohen says, is steering a middle course between ``hearing chauvinists'' and ``deaf militants.'' The former—who see deafness as a hated handicap— rally around the risky ``cochlear implant,'' a new electronic hearing-device fitted in young children; the latter, who consider deafness to be an ethnic trait, oppose ``oralism'' (teaching deaf people to vocalize, long a staple at Lexington) in favor of signing. These tensions within the deaf community shoot through Cohen's narrative, which unfolds via portraits of two Lexington students (a black American and a Russian immigrant) and memories of her grandfather, whose death was accelerated by a hospital's failure to provide a deaf interpreter. On a more personal note, Cohen talks of her own awkwardness at learning sign language; the difficulties of ASL interpretation; friendships between the deaf and those who can hear; and the crisis that hearing advocates of the deaf face in an increasingly politicized climate. An intimate portrait of a tightknit subculture that, ironically, is coming of age as it shrinks in size, the result of medical advances against meningitis and other causes of deafness—a situation that Cohen terms, with typical awareness of both sides, ``bittersweet.''

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 1994

ISBN: 0-395-63625-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1993

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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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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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