Stone rows his boat into a work of art.

ON THE WATER

DISCOVERING AMERICA IN A ROWBOAT

In an impeccable piece of travel-writing, newcomer Stone travels by rowboat on a course that turns the eastern US into a big island that he transportingly circumnavigates.

“I had plain adventure in mind, to be sure,” he declares, “to live by my wits and material minimums.” The adventure is to row up the Hudson, through the Erie Canal, and on to the Allegheny (after the briefest of portages), then down the Ohio and Mississippi to the Gulf, around Florida and back up the coast to Eastport, Maine, at the Canadian border. Though he was raised around water and his father was a crack rower, Stone is no professional: he’d never even pulled the oars of his 17-foot scull until the morning he set off from Brooklyn, and it wasn’t until Pittsburgh that he got important tips on technique and equipment. But once afloat, he gradually settles into a comfortable rhythm that includes the nightly chore of finding a place to sleep, whether that means pitching his tent (to say the trip was done on a shoestring might be an overstatement) or accepting the generosity of people he meets. In recounting his voyage, Stone uses words freely yet with a poem’s compression, a coiled energy deftly released, as when he describes the mechanics of the rowing stroke or the correct pronunciation of Atchalafaya (“one easy breath, ‘Chuff-uh-lye’”). There are enough snafus and mistakes to keep him human, and while his encounters with people are mostly pleasant and frequently revealing about the place, there are a few ugly moments as well, including the time he was invited to join a picnic gathering and then, for no discernible reason, summarily evicted (“GET OFF THIS PROPERTY. NOW!”) by the patriarch of the group. Throughout, he keeps his sense of the journey’s importance in perspective with an engaging combination of innocence and opinion.

Stone rows his boat into a work of art.

Pub Date: July 9, 2002

ISBN: 0-7679-0841-4

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Broadway

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2002

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

IN MY PLACE

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

Did you like this book?

more