CLABBERED DIRT, SWEET GRASS

A lyrical and sensual celebration of four seasons on the American farm. Paulsen—a prolific and Newbery-winning children's author who's been venturing into the adult market lately (the thriller Kill Fee, 1990, etc.)—brings to this slim but rich appreciation a passion and wisdom not evident in his last adult nonfiction book, 1977's Farm. And also a burnished—at times preciously so—literary style, based on astute observation, wonderfully exact language, and definite cadence: "[The thresher machine] holds, oh yes it holds, and the grates begin to shuffle back and forth, the small saw teeth ripple like water, oh yes, the keyway holds and the machine—she—groans and heaves and humps and bucks and in a great crashing of noise and year-old dust and mouse nests it is there. It is there." Paulsen begins with his inspiration for the book—a moving encounter with an 82-year-old farmer whore beloved horse has just died—and then devotes an essay to each season, spring to winter, drawing on his own memories and telling stories he's heard to evoke and honor—sometimes with considerable power—farm life. And the nine postimpressionist paintings by Ruth Wright Paulsen, the author's wife, nicely complement his colorful prose.

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 1992

ISBN: 0-15-118101-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more