Although these writers invariably have something novel to say, there aren’t a lot of moments that will make armchair...

THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING 2011

An eclectic but not particularly strong collection of pieces involving travel around the globe and around the yard.

Independent columnist Crosley (How Did You Get This Number, 2010, etc.) presents a wide variety of pieces, including André Aciman’s search for Monet sites in Bordighera, Christopher Buckley’s brief account of a year on a tramp freighter, Keith Gessen’s grousings about Moscow traffic and Emily Witt’s sophomoric snippets about her drinking and partying in Miami. At times, Crosley seems bent on juxtaposing pieces to see what light may emerge from the collision, say, between Téa Obreht’s peregrinations in the Balkans hearing vampire stories and Annie Proulx’s quiet walks around her Wyoming ranch observing the wildlife. At other times, the editor places shorter pieces (Gary Shteyngart’s cryptic ruminations about Russians in Israel) before longer ones (William T. Vollmann’s six visits to Kirkuk to learn about the Kurds and the explosive politics in the region). There are essays by writers who went to geographical extremes (Justin Nobel to Arctic Quebec, Verlyn Klinkenborg to a remote area of Australia, Maureen Dowd to Saudi Arabia) and those who stuck closer to home (Ariel Levy to the Hamptons for an enlightening piece about Indian casinos, Jessica McCaughey on a local hike where she tried to cure her inept internal GPS). Some pieces have moments that are downright harrowing: Mischa Berlinski’s views of earthquake devastation in Haiti, Tom Ireland’s time in Mumbai while terrorists were killing people.

Although these writers invariably have something novel to say, there aren’t a lot of moments that will make armchair travelers race out to renew their passports.

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-547-33336-6

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2011

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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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