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August 13, 1995|CHARLES SOLOMON

THE PURCHASE OF ORDER by Gail Galloway Adams (University of Georgia Press: $11.95; 148 pp.). Attention to sensual details--hair texture, eye color, skin tones--and the inner reactions they provoke distinguish this award-winning collection of short stories. Adams also balances droll comedy against the sorrows of everyday life. In the title story, a happily married husband and wife search aimlessly for the untidy friends who once brightened their lives. The narrator of "Doing Yoga" comments: "Dotty's life was a total mess, and I sometimes thought that was why her yoga classes were so successful. You kept coming to see what horrible thing would happen next."

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