Of two biographies of Henry Miller to be published in the same month (see Robert Ferguson's Henry Miller, below), this is the easier, more flowing read, though not necessarily the better book. Both Dearborn and Ferguson will the same story from the same sympathetic viewpoint, with Ferguson giving greater detail, a denser page, and more cultural scene-setting. One might fear that Dearborn (Love in the Promised Land, 1988; Pocahontas's Daughters, 1985) will do a feminist hatchet job on the freewheeling satyr whose novels shooed in the sexual revolution (at least in print), but she remains open-spirited about Miller's seeing women in his novels—aside from his second wife, June—as so many vaginas. Dearborn indeed makes clear that Miller suffered heavily from a domineering Nordic mother and wives who victimized him, so much so that he barely knew a woman who wasn't a towering sneak or double-dealer. We follow him through his Brooklyn childhood and early failures as an unpublished novelist; his famed five years as a hiring-and-firing manager for Western Union; the explosively bloody crucifixion of his marriage to June ``Smith'' (born Juliet Edith Smerth); his bottom-dog decade of poverty in Paris that produced his greatest works (aside from Plexus), the shift of real-life, sex-hungry Henry Miller into his novels' fantasy hero, the endlessly priapic ``Henry Miller''; his years of begging in the wilderness of California's Big Sur country; the belated publication of his Tropic novels, banned in the States for 25 years after their first printings in Paris; his fight against being known as the ``King of Smut''—and his hopeless ties with later wives and man-eaters. Dearborn aptly compares Miller's literary life to Walt Whitman's, thinks that sex was an element in his writing that was ``a red herring that misled his readers for years. The theme of his greatest books is survival.'' Smooth, warm, and commendable.

Pub Date: May 8, 1991

ISBN: 0-671-67704-7

Page Count: -

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1991

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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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