Unremarkable variations on an unremarkable theme: Home is where you feel at home.

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OPEN HOUSE

WRITERS REDEFINE HOME

A variety of writers present different definitions of “home” in this uneven assortment of essays, some previously published.

As editor of the fifth installment in Graywolf’s Forum series, poet Doty gives himself the first and nearly the last word. (One short essay follows his at the end.) He begins by observing that we’re all trying to find “home,” whatever that may mean to each of us, and ends with a piece about how a 19th-century painted panorama in the Netherlands serves as a metaphor for Life. Elizabeth McCracken lovingly describes the Des Moines homes of her grandparents. Honor Moore writes about leaving an old house in Connecticut where she lived for 30 years and finding a new home in New York City. She is one of several writers who allude to 9/11, with Mary Morris providing the most effective image: from a subway crossing the Manhattan bridge on September 12, “people stare at the space where the Twin Towers stood and they begin to cry. Inexplicably, silently, the entire car is filled with weeping people.” Morris’s “home,” by the way, is the subway; it’s where she reads, writes, thinks. For a number of the writers, Doty included, sexuality and home are inextricably entwined. Michael Joseph Gross finds he’s more at home having sex with strangers than he is being in the home of his parents, who had difficulty accepting his homosexuality. Reginald Shepherd—in an overlong, overwrought rumination—discovers that his home is Robert, his lover. Spunky spelunker Barbara Hurd considers caves and the comfort conferred by hidden spaces. Bernard Cooper defines home as the passions you pursue and eventually inhabit—in his case, pop art. Sensibly, the editor ends with a poignant, provocative piece by Victoria Redel, whose severe scoliosis forced her to inhabit a Milwaukee body brace 23 hours a day throughout her teenage years.

Unremarkable variations on an unremarkable theme: Home is where you feel at home.

Pub Date: June 1, 2003

ISBN: 1-55597-382-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Graywolf

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2003

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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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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