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June 27, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

FOUR IN THE MORNING by Sy Safransky (Sun Publishing: $13.95; 168 pp., paperback original). Safransky left a successful career as a journalist in New York City to found the Sun, a critically praised monthly, in Chapel Hill, N.C. Reflecting on his decision, he comments, "To drop out of society--that's the easy part, like stepping off a cliff. To land on your feet, to keep your humanness under you--that's the work of a lifetime, not a lifestyle, and it's the work I find hardest of all." The intensely personal essays in this collection deal with love, loss, interpersonal relationships and societal questions. Safransky emerges as a thoughtful and articulate spokesman for Baby-Boomers struggling to balance '60s ideals with the cold realities of the '90s. Writing about his resolve to join a gym, the author describes himself as a man determined to be "lean, tough and chewy before time licks the plate."

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