Maureen Daly Alberta Eiseman - Essay

Alberta Eiseman

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The subtitle of ["Twelve Around the World"], "True Accounts of the Lives and Countries of a Dozen Teenagers," is a better indication of the contents than the title itself. The author makes no attempt at covering the world: Western Europe is predominant, and whole continents are left out entirely. However, the "dozen teen-agers" she describes, and the countries in which they live, provide the subject-matter of fascinating and totally varied vignettes….

Sometimes Miss Daly tries to accomplish too much. It's hard to bring a person to life and describe a country, too, in twenty or thirty pages, and her asides are frequently confusing. The last chapter seems tacked on as an afterthought. Still, this is a fast-paced, interesting book, blessedly free of the preconceptions and chauvinism so often encountered in stories about other peoples.

Alberta Eiseman, "The Lives They Live: 'Twelve around the World'," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1957 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), December 15, 1957, p. 18.

Mention My Name in Mombasa is a casual and charming account of familiar and unfamiliar places and their inhabitants….

[William and Maureen McGivern] wandered to many other places, Paris, Iceland, Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, Ireland, North Africa, Nigeria; in Terremolinos, a Spanish fishing village near Malaga, they stayed a year, the tale of this sojourn forming one of the most delightful parts of the book. Writing with intelligence, sympathy and humor, interested in people rather than scenery, the authors tell of fishermen and babysitters, flowers and artists, bulls and bullfighting, friendly servants, food good and bad, palaces and hotels. Lengthy but never dull, neither a guidebook nor a study of social conditions, the book should appeal to all kinds of travelers, those who go to far places and those who dream of them, and to students of social life outside the United States.

"Non-Fiction: 'Mention My Name in Mombasa'," in Virginia Kirkus' Service, Vol. XXVI, No. 14, July 15, 1958, p. 535.