Having published the final volume (Sure of You, 1989) of his popular Tales of the City series, Maupin leaves the San Francisco setting behind, turning his warmth and wit to the Hollywood scene; he remains equally adept at spotting trends and skewering social injustice. Cadence Roth, a 31-inch actress, was never credited for playing the title role (inside a high-tech costume) in Mr. Woods, an ``enduring fable''--Ö la E.T.--``of almost universal appeal about the nature of being different.'' Being a dwarf is apparently being too different; ten years later, Cady's acting career is entirely stalled, though her limited celebrity has gained her a star-struck roommate who helps her negotiate the wrong-scale physical world and also encourages her to write her life's story. (Maybe there's a screenplay in it with a starring role for a little person.) Cady's journals reveal her as intelligent, funny, cleareyed, and subject to constant discrimination. But even Cady can hope: a comeback seems imminent; she starts a tender love affair. (But can sexual love between a tall black handsome divorced father and a white overweight female dwarf be brought into the light of day?) Meanwhile, people from Cady's past reappear: the child star from Mr. Woods (having a secret gay affair while making his adult debut in a nastily homophobic film); the horrible director who expects Cady to appear in a televised tribute to him. A sad, funny tale that--although goodness may not always triumph in the world--will win readers' hearts.