An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.

MAYA LIN

THINKING WITH HER HANDS

One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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In either iteration, a provocative counter to conventional, blinkered views of our national story.

A DIFFERENT MIRROR FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

A HISTORY OF MULTICULTURAL AMERICA

A classic framing of this country’s history from a multicultural perspective, clumsily cut and recast into more simplified language for young readers.

Veering away from the standard “Master Narrative” to tell “the story of a nation peopled by the world,” the violence- and injustice-laden account focuses on minorities, from African- Americans (“the central minority throughout our country’s history”), Mexicans and Native Americans to Japanese, Vietnamese, Sikh, Russian Jewish and Muslim immigrants. Stefoff reduces Takaki’s scholarly but fluid narrative (1993, revised 2008) to choppy sentences and sound-bite quotes. She also adds debatable generalizations, such as a sweeping claim that Native Americans “lived outside of white society’s borders,” and an incorrect one that the Emancipation Proclamation “freed the slaves.” Readers may take a stronger interest in their own cultural heritage from this broad picture of the United States as, historically, a tapestry of ethnic identities that are “separate but also shared”—but being more readable and, by page count at least, only about a third longer, the original version won’t be out of reach of much of the intended audience, despite its denser prose.

In either iteration, a provocative counter to conventional, blinkered views of our national story. (endnotes, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-60980-416-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Seven Stories

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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A rich exploration of a Holocaust survivor’s sheltered childhood, the atrocity that failed to destroy her, and her later...

CLAIMING MY PLACE

A TRUE STORY OF DEFIANCE, DECEPTION, AND COMING OF AGE IN THE SHADOW OF THE HOLOCAUST

The true story of a Jewish teenager who survived the Holocaust by passing as a Christian Pole.

Gucia Gomolinska was raised in a loving family in a Jewish neighborhood of Piotrków Trybunalski, in central Poland. When the Nazis came, blonde Gucia, then in her 20s, was able to escape the ghetto before its liquidation by changing her name to Barbara and obtaining false papers identifying her as Polish. Post-war, she reunited with the few miraculously surviving members of her family, married, and had a daughter. Upon realizing that they couldn’t return to Poland—surviving Polish Jews were sometimes massacred in pogroms—the young family settled in the United States with help from the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Told in the first person, this biography was based on interviews with both Barbara and her daughter, Helen. Loving depictions of pre-war Piotrków are filled with realistic touches that make its lost past palpable: teachers Barbara adored or disliked, interactions between the myriad youth groups, her early interest in politics, and her questions about religion. In an afterword by Helen we learn of Barbara’s disgust in witnessing racial hatred in the form of segregation after her arrival in the United States.

A rich exploration of a Holocaust survivor’s sheltered childhood, the atrocity that failed to destroy her, and her later life as an immigrant. (photographs, afterword, glossary) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-374-30529-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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