INTO THE COUNTRY OF ILLNESS

COMFORT AND ADVICE FOR THE JOURNEY

A New York Times columnist's witty guide to that planet of pain which we must sometimes orbit or visit—the world of serious illness or, as Lipsyte calls it, Malady. Sportswriter and journalist Lipsyte's style is more powerful here than in his co-authored Idols of the Game (1995). Sports, in fact, provides a good ongoing metaphor to the gallows humor (dubbed ``tumor humor'') that makes this account of Lipsyte's testicular cancer such a good read. On one fearful team, so goes his story, are the patients, who wear funny green uniforms that tie in the back and leave their bottoms sticking out. However, players on the confident ``home team'' don the bright colors of doctors, nurses, aides, and support staff. Lipsyte is happiest with the ``jock surgeons'' who want to battle the enemy with their blades. ``None can beat [this type of surgeon] for sheer glamor,'' he insists. More cautious doctors, no matter their ``game face[s],'' are too much like quarterbacks, he grouses. Lipsyte contrives a more extended metaphor to cover the ``Cancer Couple,'' himself and his wife: They're roving a foreign land, ushered ``into the country of illness.'' Any deadly malady will provide the passport to this place, where caregivers speak a foreign language and seem to take delight in confounding the vulnerable tourist with cascades of daunting verbal gobbledygook. The ``medtechs'' screw up often; student doctors are there for the mocking. Cancer conditions may in fact exist only to offer false hope. And chemotherapy treatments are like the schoolyard bullies whom the author once feared yet outlasted. Lipsyte's insights into the effects of severe illness on one's friends and family are also sharp. No bibliography is needed; the author seems to discuss all the better books on medical topics. Unexpected views of ``mediquette,'' with charm when and where we need it most.

Pub Date: April 2, 1998

ISBN: 0-679-43182-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1998

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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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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

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