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This interesting young writer has taken some high frequency soundings of new political movements and social change in metropolitan areas and on the campus. In the long title story, the wife of a middle-aged college progressive logs her husband's activities which endanger his tenure, her children's fairly predictable vagaries, and her own love affair with her husband's school friend--a political conservative. Her eldest child runs away to return under duress, her husband's anti-war activities seem futile and ludicrous, and the lover is a dybbuk eating away at her sanity and self-containment. The housewife's diary is accompanied in an adjoining column by her own unexpressed ""dark"" thoughts. In other stories secret torments surface to create hatred and fear in Jewish communities with encroaching Negro ghettoes. A Rabbi at a party, contemplating a portion of his congregation grinning as emptily as a Halloween pumpkin, ceases his fast for social progress. A Jewish-Negro non-demilitarized social zone is the background for three stories in which a funeral is disrupted, a Negro guest angered, while blood fear smolders when two old people admit the intruders. A last story, a 1968 O. Henry Award winner, follows ""The New Nobility"" through the search of a younger generation. Although Miss Broner's experimental technique in the title story may cause bifurcated vision, it all seems to work out. . . . New, disturbing, relevant.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1968
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World