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The Son of Adam Wyngate, published in 1951, we reported as standing alone in Mary O'Hara's record. Now, after reading the closeup of the birthpangs of that memorable novel, we are inclined to revise our opinion, and say that it was a symptom of the growing up process of a serious novelist. This study of the months and years that went into conceiving and completing the book provides a case study for students of narrative writing. It provides, too, a sort of intellectual and emotional catharsis of a writer. Nobody interested in what goes on behind the making of a novel, the creating of character and situations the acceptance and rejection and the changing pattern, the self-criticism, the occasional need for outside opinion, can read this without finding a greatly increased appreciation and understanding of the problems, the issues. It should be immensely valuable for critics, too, providing as it does some of the touchstones by which sound fiction writing should be judged. I found it provocative and challenging.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1954
Publisher: McKay