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Our Critics Commend

July 14, 1985|Carolyn See

Notes of an Anatomist, Frank Gonzales-Crussi (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich). Through "wit, grace and erudition," Gonzales-Crussi manages to bring a "life-enhancing" tone to the discussion of death, embalming, autopsies and maggots. Pathology, to the author, provides clues on the human condition. "We would wish to take solace," he writes, "in thoughts that flatter our desire for permanence when the autopsy drags us, by the hair, into the spectacle of our own dissolution" (Edwin Shneidman).

Exit to Eden, Anne Rampling (Arbor House). Lisa Kelly, the book's narrator, becomes obsessed with sadomasochism despite being reared by "a glum Irish family that hates sex and even the idea of the pleasures it might offer." By the book's end, however, Lisa learns that one man and one woman can make a happy life together.

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