Heartbreaking sadness leads to words of courage, perseverance, and enduring strength likely to inspire others on the path...


Radical Survivor


A journey of grief and healing for an elementary school principal who lost her husband and two young sons in a plane crash.

At first glance, Saltzman’s book may seem like a cathartic recap of her life, a reminder to herself, an homage to her family, and love letter to her husband. While it does contain elements of all those things—this is a memoir, after all—the book goes beyond truelove lost and delves much deeper into the effects and outcome of monumental loss and grief. While Saltzman doesn’t necessarily set out to teach people how to deal with their grief after losing a loved one or the sadness of divorce or even the fear of having cancer—which she experienced twice—she can’t help but transfer her strength and perseverance onto the page with her introspective words and honest portrayal of her emotions resulting from her experience with all three topics. The pages are peppered with transcriptions of a handful of the thousands of condolence cards and letters Saltzman received over the years from friends, family, and even strangers. Many feature the same question and assumptive statement: “How did you do it? I could not have endured the loss of my family.” To which Saltzman responds: “‘What choice did I have?’ I could end my life or I could choose to live. I made a conscious decision to live.” She cites her parents’ high expectations as a main source of strength, along with tough life lessons that revealed how sad endings can make way for new beginnings. Even cancer taught her the patience of not rushing the process, which was just as relevant for enduring difficult medical treatment as it was for soul-crushing grief. Saltzman’s experience illustrated the inevitability—maybe even the necessity—of falling apart in order to rebuild, which for Saltzman was emotional as well as physical, from coming to terms emotionally by listening to the wonderful stories about her husband and sons to the eventual reconstruction of her breasts a decade later. Perhaps an unforeseen, bittersweet result of Saltzman’s tragedies—the crash and the cancer—was her ability to serve as a major source of comfort and support for others in similar situations. In some cases, she became an unwitting role model from whom others drew strength while in the shadows of their own tragedies.

Heartbreaking sadness leads to words of courage, perseverance, and enduring strength likely to inspire others on the path toward healing. 

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-615-65819-3

Page Count: 242

Publisher: WoWo Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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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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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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