In 1966, Burlingame was only 31 but was just starting to receive professional accolades as a stage designer on Broadway in...

A BLESSING WELL DISGUISED

A BLINDED ARTIST'S INNER JOURNEY OUT OF THE DARK

In this candid memoir, Broadway and opera stage designer Burlingame (Sets, Lights, & Lunacy: A Stage Designer’s Adventures on Broadway and in Opera, 2013, etc.) shines the spotlight on his broken childhood and his painful—but enlightening—loss of eyesight.

In 1966, Burlingame was only 31 but was just starting to receive professional accolades as a stage designer on Broadway in addition to his working with the renowned producer David Merrick. Burlingame ultimately became co-chair of the design department at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, but he continued to grapple with turmoil caused by his past. As a gay man who grew up in the 1930s and ’40s in Arlington, Virginia, Burlingame had learned to hate himself and his abusive, alcoholic father, who once threatened his mother with an ax. To make matters worse, the author discovered that he was slowly going blind. His job at NYU allowed him the financial privilege of receiving psychological help from Edward Edinger, an influential Jungian analyst. This honest, swiftly paced account details Burlingame’s 20-plus-year journey of self-discovery as he came to terms with the past and prepared for a future without eyesight (he’s now fully blind). A fan of Jungian analysis, Burlingame includes color pictures of his own dream-inspired artwork, as well as descriptions of some meetings with Edinger. He first thought of his blindness as a curse from an evil god who poked out his eyes, and he wondered how a blind artist could be any good. Yet as he realized his own self-worth, he eventually considered his blindness to be a blessing: “Going to the heart of the matter, maybe one way to understand ‘what good is a blind man?’ is to ask the fundamental question ‘what good is any man or woman?’ ” Burlingame admirably reinvented himself: Unable to design sets due to his failing eyesight, he embraced the art of quilting. Though at first he was afraid to walk with a cane through the sometimes-hostile streets of New York City, he eventually fell in love with two guide dogs who helped him navigate. Unlike his father, who committed suicide, Burlingame made peace with the past and at almost 80 has learned to love his inner child and “inner gay brother.”

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-1500190927

Page Count: 276

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2014

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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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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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