IMAGINARY HOMELANDS

ESSAYS AND CRITICISM, 1981-1991

Lively, wide-ranging collection of 75 pieces written over the past ten years by the author of The Satanic Verses. Would this collection exist had The Satanic Verses not made the Ayatollah Khomeini's hit parade? Yes. Rushdie has the extra edge of an international mind that acknowledges two political and several literary homelands. His subjects here revolve around the politics of India and Pakistan, censorship, literature, movies, TV, the experience of Indian migrants to Britain, his thoughts on the Thatcher/Foot election, and on writers: Anita Desai, Kipling, V.S. Naipaul, Graham Greene, John le Carre, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Raymond Carver, Saul Bellow, Philip Ruth, Thomas Pynchon, and so on. He comes down hard on the recent spate of British-Indian shows, finding Gandhi, A Passage to India, The Far Pavilions, and The Raj Quartet/The Jewel in the Crown to be guilty of the sins they attack: the Indians do not get equal time while British rule is glamorized; it is the British characters whose stories matter to the writers and filmmakers. He dismantles "Inside the Whale," George Orwell's famous essay defending Henry Miller's political quietism, and attacks the same quietism in Orwell's 1984, to show that "there is no whale. We live in a world without hiding places. . ." He stands up for Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray against the Bombay film hacks. He praises Terry Gilliam's "magnificent film of future totalitarianism," Brazil, which combines Franz Kafka with Frank Capra. But perhaps the most eye-opening and affecting piece here is a long talk between Rushdie and Edward Said about Zionism and the nature of being a stateless Palestinian, "the victim of a victim." Rushdie's probing, teasing, intelligent voice is in every sentence; every word he writes feels personal. You can't ask for more than that in an essay.

Pub Date: May 1, 1991

ISBN: 0140140360

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1991

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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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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