Books: Prize Housewife

Three years ago Mrs. John Gasparotti, wife of the chief engineer of the City Ice & Fuel Co. of Moberly, Mo. (pop. 13,772) got an idea for a novel. Mornings, after her four children were off to school, she hustled through the housework by 9:30, wrote until a lunch deadline at 11:30. Afternoons she could sometimes squeeze in a couple of hours more. The book soaked up distractions the way butter soaks up the flavor of fish in the icebox. Odd-moment writing gave her prose an odd-moment style.

But in three years, two rewritings—a...

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