SELECTED WRITINGS OF TRUMAN CAPOTE

Surprisingly enough, these Truman Capote writings cover 20 years; one would not have thought he'd been at bat that long. Not too surprisingly, they don't all hold up; but, generally, it must be said he scores more often than he strikes out. Certainly his talents are manifold: the quicksilver dialogue, the damning details, the mot juste, the psychologically perceptive blue mood or set. His influences abound, yet he remains an original, from the early Southern Gothic tales with auras of Williams, Faulkner, McGullers and, in that famous shocker Miriam, of Alfred Hitchcock, onwards through Breakfast at Tiffany's and its jazzed-up Christopher Isherwood type heroine, Holly Golightly, plus the New Yorkerish reportage of Porgy and Bess' Russian tour, of Marlon Brando, of travelogues via Ischia, New Orleans, Spain. All and more are here collected; most good, most entertaining. But is he a major writer? No, not by these samplings anyway. Is he even the sure stylist such a tough minded person as Norman Mailer takes him to be? No, not if we compare him to a newcomer like Updike, an oldster like Miss Porter. But he is an exquisitely exotic bloom on our all too exoteric literary landscape, full of variety, full of change. Given a few more imaginistic flights in as many years, he might yet emerge the American Coeteau. Not an unrewarding prospect at all.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1963

ISBN: 0394604954

Page Count: 460

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1962

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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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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