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December 22, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

HALF THE HOUSE: A Memoir by Richard Hoffman (Harcourt Brace: 192 pp., $11). In this darkly powerful memoir, poet Richard Hoffman describes how being molested as a child by his football coach warped his emotional life, especially his relationship with his affectionate yet brutal father.

In a new afterword, he recounts how the publication of his book led to the arrest and imprisonment of the coach. He was stunned to receive calls from dozens of other victims, including a recently abused boy who thanked him for "making it stop." Hoffman rejects the coach's plea that he couldn't help himself and suggests replacing the term "pedophile"--one who loves children--with "pedoscele": one who does evil to children.

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