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March 06, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

THE CABIN: Reminiscence and Diversions by David Mahmet (Vintage: $10; 157 pp.). Mahmet's episodic memoirs resemble a succession of scenes illuminated by an erratic strobe light: A single moment appears in harsh focus, then vanishes. A mundane dining room table triggers memories of his parents' emotional grandstanding and how they tyrannized his sister; a pleasant house in Vermont leads to speculations about the existence of neighborhood ghosts. The title essay is an affectionate portrait of the Pulitzer Prize winner's cozily disordered sanctum sanctorum.

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