EASTERN SUN, WINTER MOON

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ODYSSEY

The acclaimed children's author now writes a children's story for adults—a remarkably vivid, often shocking memoir of his growing up in the US and the Philippines circa WW II. Paulsen's first memories set the harrowing tone: In powerfully precise declarative prose (far removed from the rhythmic lyricisms of his autobiographical Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass, 1992), he writes of sitting up late, as a toddler, and listening to the radio while his baby sitter, "an old woman" who "had hair out of her ears and nostrils," would drink wine from a jelly jar. "Father" was off with Patton; "Mother," a beauty, worked at a munitions factory, and her first extended appearance here is when she kicks to death a tramp who tries to molest her son. Such sudden violence, as well as graphic sex, riddles the narrative: Called to the Philippines to join Father after the war, Paulsen and Mother take a boat across the Pacific; along the way, they see sharks devour many 0survivors of a plane crash. In the Philippines, as Paulsen adjusts to life with his stern father, the violence continues: A man is cut in half by flying debris from a typhoon; Paulsen jumps from a great height and severs his tongue. But there are unexpected boyhood pleasures too: forays into the jungle and into the arms of a young female servant; the wild joy of "going native" under the tutelage of a male servant. Mother drinks too much, however, and sleeps around, and Father also loves the bottle dearly—and so, after one drunken, bitter Christmas Eve, Mother drags back to the States a boy who's older, perhaps not wiser, but vastly more experienced. An indelible account of a childhood lived on the edge, hallmarked by Paulsen's sinewy writing, purity of voice, and, especially, by his bedrock honesty.

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-15-127260-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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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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