Alvin Silverstein David Gostnell - Essay

David Gostnell

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The Left-hander's World] treats left-handers as another minority group, presenting facts, speculations and personal experiences to provide the left-handed child with a sense of identity and pride about his or her differences…. The authors carefully separate fact from pejorative superstition, and inform us that many well-known and successful people are included in the ranks of the left-handed. Practical help for left-handers is limited to a short appendix listing relevant books, articles, products and organizations. There is a chapter on left-handed writing, perhaps the greatest bane of the sinistral, but it is devoid of helpful advice on struggling with this problem. To this (left-handed) reviewer, this is a more significant need than the problem of a negative self-image. Moreover, I know of no evidence supporting the authors' contention that successful lefties got that way through compensation nor that others—such as Jack the Ripper—became antisocial through the bitterness of coping with a right-handed world. I am certain, however, that such conjectures are of no benefit to the young reader. Even so, the book will be of interest to teachers, children and families of both bents.

David Gostnell, "Book Reviews: 'The Left-hander's World'," in Science Books & Films (copyright 1978 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science), Vol. XIV, No. 2 (September, 1978), p. 69.