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Voices Silenced

May 24, 1987

Upon our move from Manhattan to West Hollywood, we vowed to maintain a semblance of the life style we'd left behind--among other things, the standard of walking. The first day we did so, we went out separately to explore the tranquil, if not sterile, beauty of our new neighborhood, curious about what each would find.

My husband, a playwright, always in search of words, happened upon a small haven on Melrose Avenue--George Sand Books, and drawn in like a magnet, happily immersed himself in others' words. Three hours later, unbeknownst to him, I found the same unobtrusive shop.

Within those modest walls, we heard the voices of knowledge merging past and present, and they taught us about ourselves . Charlotte Gusay, proprietor, imported not only the printed page, but a sense of European refinement sorely lacking here.

This week we learned of its impending demise at the end of May, and once George Sand Books closes its doors, the voices will cease; the taste of Europe, of history, of true scholarly pursuit will fade. One more genteel presence will succumb to commercialism, bookstore franchises, and video mania. Faithful readers everywhere should be outraged.

SAMMIE SCHENKER FRIEDMAN

West Hollywood

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