An incomplete tribute that may please some Hazzard fans but leave others adrift.


A Sri Lankan–born Australian novelist offers a brief paean to a much-admired fellow Australian writer.

De Kretser (The Life To Come, 2017, etc.), who moved to Australia with her family in 1972, fell in love with the novels of Shirley Hazzard (1931-2016) because they “spoke of places from which I had come and places to which I longed to go.” They also offered a view of Australia that was cleareyed about such problems as sexism and racial prejudice, which helped the author come to terms with living as an Asian woman in a white-dominated country. Moreover, Hazzard’s novels revealed a deep engagement with history and especially imperialism, a topic with which de Kretser was intimately acquainted. Hazzard was also a keen craftsperson who “read her work aloud to herself to get the rhythms right” and consciously sought to create high literary art. De Kretser writes that “movement of poetry infiltrates [Hazzard’s] prose,” and she offers examples from various, often unnamed, novels of the “precision, swiftness [and] taste for compassion” with which Hazzard used adjectives, described places and characters, and expressed political views. De Kretser’s book is strongest in its very personal, often moving appreciation for Hazzard’s work. As literary criticism, the narrative is flawed. De Kretser provides only bits and pieces about Hazzard’s life and brief reflections about important novels like The Bay of Noon, which was shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize in 2010, and The Great Fire, which won the 2003 National Book Award. She offers little biographical, historical, critical, social, or political details and no cited references that would help those not already acquainted with Hazzard and/or Australian 20th-century literature more deeply appreciate this important novelist. As a result, the book reads more like a disconnected collection of poignant private musings than a text meant to educate readers who might be interested in exploring Hazzard’s life and work.

An incomplete tribute that may please some Hazzard fans but leave others adrift.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-948226-82-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Catapult

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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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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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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