Vintage handkerchiefs receive new life as couture fashion for dolls.

Now that the handkerchief has gone the way of the leisure suit, vintage handkerchiefs can be found in abundance at garage sales and thrift stores. Such a windfall of brightly colored, retro-chic patterns led fashion designer Greenberg to create hundreds of miniature dresses out of them. Designed for Barbie dolls—literally—these dresses are at times clever, romantic and whimsical, and Greenberg is obviously a talented and patient seamstress. But what was the author to do with so many dresses lining her sewing room on their tiny hangers? Sell them on eBay, of course. Hankie Couture, as her line of dresses is now known, is apparently popular among collectors. Impressive as they are, creating a book based on them presents more of a challenge. Each page features a doll dressed in a particular Hankie Couture fashion, set in a tableau featuring furniture (also crafted by Greenberg) and other accessories. These tableaux are accompanied by short platitudes describing the Southern Belle-ish “Hankie Couture Woman”—e.g., “A Hankie Couture woman goes to bed each night with a smile in her heart.” The book may have kitsch appeal, but it's not ironic enough to be marketed as such, nor is it written for children, who might want to learn to sew doll clothes. Limited appeal for serious crafters.


Pub Date: April 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7624-4017-7

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Running Press

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

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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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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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