Autobiography of a dharma bum, told in one-page vignettes and essays, each focusing on an epiphany of some sort. Countercultural life of the 50's and 60's forms the background of this memory grab bag by Delattre (Walking on Air, 1980; Tales of a Dalai Lama, 1971), a former ordained Presbyterian minister who once criticized his congregation by calling the institutional church ``the greatest impediment to spiritual life in America.'' Delattre's stunned congregation so welcomed the criticism that it let him open an experimental coffee-house ministry on San Francisco's Telegraph Hill, where he became ``a kind of nondenominational street priest'' for beatniks and Zen folk looking for beatitude. Delattre first found his own satori when a sick friend announced the hour of his death and then died on schedule, holding the author's hand: ``I felt a hot electric surge flow up my arm, flower in my mind, charge my whole body with such an urge to laugh that I could hardly control myself.'' Serving spaghetti, coffee, bread, and wine to some 300 people nightly at the Telegraph Hill mission, Delattre became known as ``the beatnik priest'' and was heralded by features in Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times. But bad habits pursued him and things fell apart (including the first two of Delattre's three marriages). Appearing throughout his pages here are Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, Bill Graham, Charles de Gaulle, Richard Brautigan, Albert Schweitzer, Nikos Kazantzakis, and the Dalai Lama and Tibetan priests, among others. At one point, MGM calls Delattre in as a consultant on the filming of Jack Kerouac's The Subterraneans, in which Gerry Mulligan played the author as a jazz-priest. Pleasurable but familiar fare that might move younger readers more than older.

Pub Date: July 19, 1993

ISBN: 1-55597-180-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Graywolf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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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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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

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