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And Our Critics Commend

September 28, 1986

Saints and Strangers, Angela Carter (Viking). "These fresh and often disturbing stories are special because of the absence of the author as a personal voice." At its best, Carter's work probes, frightens (and) enchants--exactly what real stories should do (Holly Prado).

The Fifties, Edmund Wilson, edited by Leon Edel (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). "By turns amusing, poignant, tedious, surprising, charming and shrewd, this uncensored document of a mind and spirit in process is further proof" that Wilson was arguably the most important American man of letters in this century (Ronald Gottesman).

Straight Cut, Madison Smartt Bell (Ticknor & Fields). A somber thriller about drugs and drug smuggling, told in the first person by an anti-hero "perched on a thin fence between victory and defeat" (Carolyn See).

Tent Life in Siberia, George Kennan (Peregrine Smith/Gibbs N. Smith). The author's "colorful and enthusiastic" account of his experiences in the remotest outposts of northeastern Siberia in the late 1860s provides "fascinating and literally chilling contemplation for comfortable 20th-Century readers" (Sharon Dirlam).

Hard Right: The Rise of Jesse Helms, Ernest B. Furgurson (Norton). The author "has heroically waded through thousands of pages of Helms' prose and interviewed the senator and many of those around him to produce a competent journalistic biography of an inescapably important public figure" (Marvin Seid).

Brain Matters: Stories of a Neurologist and His Patients, Bruce H. Dobkin MD (Crown). "A searingly honest account of a doctor's successes and failures." The author is frustrated at "medicine's incomplete power of diagnosis and treatment" (Lee Dembart).

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