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And Our Critics Commend

May 11, 1986

Heart of the Country, Greg Matthews (Norton). Here, "the old West is portrayed not as the Promised Land but as a human purgatory, and the cowboy and pioneer are depicted not as romantic heroes but as ordinary men--often evil men . . . . (The story) enhances the breadth of life on the frontier" (Stan Steiner).

A Father's Words, Richard Stern (Arbor House). " 'A Father's Words' are uttered to four children, and most potently and cruelly to a son, Jack, a relentless failure . . . . The delicate manipulation of a smart, sane, self-justifying narrator, who is not the character he wishes his audience to see and believe, is not the least of Stern's achievements in this delicate fabrication of tough prose and tender adjustment of sentiment" (Geoffrey Wolff).

The Secret Trauma: Incest in the Lives of Girls and Women, Diana E. H. Russell (Basic), "pulverizes popular myths surrounding incest and sets us straight about the scope and nature of the abuse. Russell's most disturbing revelation is the extent of the abuse she uncovered" (Sally Abrahms).

The News From Ireland and Other Stories, William Trevor (Elisabeth Sifton/Viking). "Why should we care about these English families of the 19th and early 20th centuries, whose hegemony was both profound and wafer-thin? Simply because Trevor makes them stand for a broader image of human life as a struggle against entropy . . . . (William) Trevor fashions contrivance into high craft; and at his best, he elevates high craft into art" (Richard Eder).

Bess W. Truman, Margaret Truman (Macmillan) is "based almost exclusively on Bess and Harry's voluminous correspondence over a 40-year period, along with (Margaret Truman's) memories of life as First Daughter. . . . This informative volume should be read by any serious student of history or Truman--or of the role of familial in presidential politics" (Tim Hays).

Her Native Colors, Elisabeth Hyde (Delacorte). "This story of two young women who grew up in a small Vermont town believing their girlhood friendship would endure forever is a model post-feminist novel . . . (exploring) the idea of 'having it all' versus 'having only some of it' " (Elaine Kendall).

Debt and Danger: The World Financial Crisis, Harold Lever and Christopher Huhne (Atlantic Monthly) is "a well-written and highly informative book documenting the scope and origins of the debt crisis" (Roger E. Shields).

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