A sympathetic account of the unexpected richness and resilience of life in a certified end-of-the-earth place— Patagonia—by a young American woman who learned as much about herself there as about the region. Comprising the southernmost 1600-kilometer stretch of South America, Argentinean Patagonia is a semi-desert where the wind blows for weeks across the flat landscape and water is as precious as fuel. The descendants of Welsh farmers and a succession of immigrants, many from the Basque region of Spain, most of today's Patagonians live on vast estancias, where sheep are raised. Too poor to afford enough arable land, they tend to be tenant farmers for the owners, who live in Buenos Aires. Taber and her husband, who lived in Patagonia in 1978-79 and in 1984-85 at an isolated camp on the coast, came to study whales. Initially confident of her own self-sufficiency, Sara was soon driven by the early winter evenings, the relentless winds, and the isolation to seek company, and she befriended the nearest local couple. Moved by the Patagonians' warmth and stoicism in the face of loneliness and unceasing hard work, she began visiting their homes and attending senaldas, an annual festivity in which far-flung neighbors come to help with the castrating and tail-docking of new lambs. The old ways, Taber regretfully discovered, were disappearing as families, wanting to educate their children, increasingly worked in the towns rather than on the Campo. And as for herself, she learned that ``rather than going alone the key to living in any wilderness was to join with others. The old Patagonians showed me...that open vulnerability is the definition of dignity.'' Occasionally awkward—the search for personal answers doesn't quite fit—but the vivid descriptions of the land and its people, and the palpable affection Taber feels for both, are more than adequate compensation.

Pub Date: July 29, 1991

ISBN: 0-8050-1473-X

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

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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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