THE DINOSAUR MAN

TALES OF MADNESS AND ENCHANTMENT FROM THE BACK WARD

Like Oliver Sacks, psychologist Baur (Hypochondria: Woeful Imaginings, 1988) writes with clear empathy for those afflicted with mental illness. The Dinosaur Man of the title has been a schizophrenic patient in the chronic, or ``back,'' ward of a mental hospital for 37 years; not mentioned in the title or subtitle is the other category of patients the author writes about—outpatients with less debilitating disorders who live their troubled lives outside institutional walls but inside their private hells. While other members of the hospital's professional staff direct their efforts to getting the back ward patients to behave in an acceptable manner, usually with medications, Baur focuses on understanding and valuing, even loving, them. She listens carefully to the Dinosaur Man's fantastic delusions, initially to try to interpret them but soon abandoning that goal in favor of becoming a participant—or, in her words, an accomplice, a cameraman. She stores and sorts various fragmented memories, trying to help him- -and other patients—reconstruct their pasts so that they may live with their presents. No miracles, no sudden ``awakenings'' are reported here. The Dinosaur Man remains a chronic schizophrenic; there are changes, however, in Baur's perceptions of schizophrenia, and doubtless one goal of her book is to change others' perceptions as well. Comes close to being a voyeuristic trip through a sideshow but is saved by the author's genuine concern for those whose afflictions she describes.

Pub Date: July 31, 1991

ISBN: 0-06-016538-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 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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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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