The engaging memoirs of a physician whose professional life has revolved around pain—and who packs his personal story with solid information on how and why we experience pain and how we can manage it. Brand was born in 1914 in India, the son of English missionaries who practiced medicine in the hill country near Madras. Educated in England, he took a one-year course in medicine designed for overseas missionaries, and was caught up by the wonder of it. In 1946, Brand returned to India as a missionary surgeon and soon was performing reconstructive surgery at a leprosy sanitorium. Later, in 1965, he moved to the US to set up a rehabilitation program at a leprosy hospital in Louisiana. His work with lepers gave him a unique perspective on, and appreciation for, pain—he calls it the ``beloved enemy''— and direct experience of the hazards of painlessness. Nerve damage in leprosy (and in various other disorders, such as diabetes) causes loss of the sensation of pain, putting its victims at risk of unknowingly incurring disfiguring and even deadly injuries. Brand (assisted here by Yancey, Where Is God When It Hurts?, etc.—not reviewed) selectively includes tales of his childhood in rural India, his student days in London during the Blitz, his work with lepers and other patients, and even his own personal encounters with pain, showing how these experience have shaped his outlook. His observation of different cultures' views of pain have convinced him that one's attitude toward pain largely determines how it's experienced—and that fear, anger, guilt, helplessness, and loneliness all intensify it. Brand's stated goal is to restore balance to how we think about pain, and he succeeds admirably. Valuable for its insight into pain; unforgettable for its glimpses into the lives of lepers.

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 1993

ISBN: 0-06-017020-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1993

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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