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August 28, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

THE LOST BOY by Thomas Wolfe (University of North Carolina Press: $9.95; 81 pp.). Wolfe's novella takes the form of a four-part fictionalized portrait of his older brother, his mother's favorite, who died in childhood. Previous anthologies bowdlerized the text, omitting the mother's proud recitation of how Grover insulted an African American servant. Wolfe describes Grover walking through a small Southern town, seeing "the union of forever and now": Grover and his real counterpart stand fixed in memory like an insect in amber--eternally the boy with great, untapped potential.

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