A poignant, heartfelt memoir that offers support and inspiration.

Pulling Taffy


A touching account of a daughter-turned-caregiver to her dementia-afflicted mother.

Jan “Taffy” Hallett Weisblat was a fairly accomplished woman. Born in 1918, Taffy enjoyed many interesting adventures, including a less-than-cordial meeting with President Calvin Coolidge when she was a child. After she married, Taffy traveled extensively, living in  India—an experience that prompted her to write and publish a book of poems—before making her foray into the antiques world. Her daughter, author Tinky Weisblat (The Pudding Hollow Cookbook, 2004), portrays Taffy as an endearing, vivacious woman. After Taffy was diagnosed as “pleasantly demented,” Weisblat and her brother set out to give Taffy the best care possible, which ultimately led to her living with Weisblat. Weisblat’s firsthand experience provides an excellent, compassionate supplement to books about Alzheimer’s. The well-written diarylike entries offer a cohesion that enables a smooth transition from one entry to the next. The author’s account of her final year with her mother provides a candid look at an emotionally wrenching time that included laughter, tears, cooking, singing and dancing. Also included are recipes of traditional family meals or dishes that simply provided a memorable moment. Recounting her year of caretaking with honest humility, Weisblat created a forum for the author to forgive herself for her perceived shortcomings, and her book may help relieve the pressure for readers who find themselves in similar circumstances.

A poignant, heartfelt memoir that offers support and inspiration.

Pub Date: June 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0974274102

Page Count: 206

Publisher: Merry Lion Press, The

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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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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