A PLACE CALLED HOME

TWENTY WRITING WOMEN REMEMBER

Veteran anthologist Pearlman (Between Friends, 1994, etc.) comes up with yet another collection of original, lyrical pieces from a stellar group of writers. The theme this time is ``home,'' and for the 20 women writers who share their feelings on the subject, home can mean many things. For Marcie Hershman, it is the two-family house that she bought because her mother wanted her lesbian daughter to have ``something to count on''; for Dani Shapiro, home evokes horrible memories of anti-Semitic incidents directed against her family in the suburban New Jersey neighborhood where she grew up. Meg Pei finds home in a summer house her family owned during her youth; Francine Prose remembers a rented house where she lived for seven months before the birth of her child. For Jill McCorkle, home is the house of her childhood, complete with happy memories of a warm and loving family; for Julie Smith, home is a place that needs to be discovered, while the locale of one's childhood remains forever alien, a part of a receding past. The most compelling aspect of this collection is the writers' attempts to understand the concept of home—as a place, as a memory, as a feeling within oneself. None of them imagines that there is an easy answer to the question of what ``home'' means: The answer may be troubled, or contented, or ambivalent, but it is never obvious, and it can never be taken for granted. One small caution to the reader: Read in one sitting, these pieces tend to blend into an amorphous mass. But each essay is wonderful in its own right and deserves to be read with care and concentration. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 1996

ISBN: 0-312-12793-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1996

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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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