The Arkansas Testament, Derek Walcott (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), finds the author examining some of his old themes "with youthful invention." While the title poem concerns racism and the feelings of self-contempt that white ignorance often engenders in black people's souls, it is fundamentally "a poem about writing" (Caryl Phillips).
The Lost Notebooks of Loren Eiseley, edited and with a reminiscence by Kenneth Heuer (Little, Brown). "Eiseley's great genius for the art of the word coupled with a poetic insight into the connection between science and humanism shines through in page after page of this book" (Solomon H. Katz).
Hey Jack!, Barry Hannah (E. P. Dutton Inc./Seymour Lawrence). "The narrator's wandering cogitations, his tales, his pleasures and his anguish all ramble to a purpose. They test and reveal the tensile strength of a cord . . . that binds him to his deadly memories, that binds his Southern community and perhaps all communities to their own" (Richard Eder).
Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner (Random House). The author "is a surpassing master at showing victory in the everyday activities of life, and though he admits to the darker places of the human heart . . . he depicts a world in which, because of the angle of vision, we see more by sunlight than shadow" (Alan Cheuse).