AND STILL I RISE

In her third volume of poems, Maya Angelou proves once again that audacity can pay off. Seemingly unafraid to approach anything, she includes comments on aging, the disappointments of love, anger at the abuse of black people, and the everyday aspects of womanhood. The moving spirit is summed up in the poem "Still I Rise" when she says "Does my sassiness upset you?/ Why are you beset with gloom?/ 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells/ Pumping in my living room. . . ." The music of these lines is continued throughout the book: indeed Angelou's use of the refrain often serves to break up a poem when the tension grows overwhelming, as in "One More Round," an anti-slavery piece, where she punctuates illustrations of abuse with a chorus reminiscent of a work song: "One more round/ And let's heave it down. . . ." Angelou's most glaring weakness is a tendency towards obvious and rhetorical statement, as in "Ain't that Bad," which lists items commonly associated with blacks (Stevie Wonder, rice and beans, etc.) in a way that fails to dramatize any point. However, through her use of music and direct, uninhibited statement, she has written a distinctive and energetic volume.

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 1978

ISBN: 0394502523

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1978

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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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