DANCING PARTNERS OF CHIC THE HORNES: AN AMERICAN FAMILY by Gail Lumet Buckley; Knopf; 262 pages; $18.95

The compliment came from an unlikely source. ''You're so tasteful,'' gushed Bette Midler. Lena Horne's reply was something of a surprise: ''I'm tired of being tasteful.'' In this family history, Gail Lumet Buckley reveals the source of her mother's weariness and, en route, shows that fatigue can be contagious. Lena, it appears, was no sudden black star, up from ghetto poverty. Her ancestors, the ''old'' Hornes, had settled in New York City before the turn of the century. From the evidence of the book's many photographs, they were all attractive, intelligent people who paid a good deal of attention to clothes...

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