Maureen Daly Beverly Grunwald - Essay

Beverly Grunwald

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

["Mention My Name in Mombasa" is] a travel book written in a leisurely fashion: One feels that there were some "must-sees" for the McGiverns and their two youngsters, but that's all. The result is a frank and fresh series of anecdotes and impressions of other people and other ways of life by an appealing American couple who took time to observe and to live….

Life is fun and life is earnest, albeit phony, among the international starving artists, writers and category-defying queer characters in this tourist's paradise [in the south of Spain]. But it couldn't be funnier or earnester (Hemingway included) than the discussions of bullfighting and the aficionados….

Like all good travel books, a short whiff … is guaranteed to whet your appetite and make you dream, too.

Beverly Grunwald, "Other Ways, Other People," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1958 by the New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), November 16, 1958, p. 18.

A general view of Spain, its geography, architecture, topography, politics, religion, and climate are given [in Spanish Roundabout]. But the bulk of the book consists of vivid profiles of Spaniards from every station and of impressions of the atmosphere, both sensual and spiritual. Maureen Daly … writes knowledgeably, and her sensitivity to Spain, her appreciation of its grace and its torment are forcefully portrayed without any recourse to pedantry. A book which assumes that teen-age readers are neither mental nor emotional deficients, Spanish Roundabout sets a standard which it is hoped other writers of non-fiction for high school students will recognize.

"Fiction: 'Spanish Roundabout'," in Virginia Kirkus' Service, Vol. XXVIII, No. 5, March 1, 1960, p. 189.