I CAN LICK SEVENRobert Richards Atlantic-Little, Brown ($2.50).
RIVER ROGUE Brainard Cheney Houghton Mifflin ($2.50).
For two decades the tough, subtle, sub-sinister landscape of the South has been a notable breeding and hunting ground for new writers. The hunting is still good. Neither Robert Richards, with a first novel, nor Brainard Cheney, with his second, is as imposing as Thomas Wolfe or William Faulkner. But both are exciting.
Robert Richards manages, remarkably, to say some new things about the Civil War and its aftermath, and to say them with as much irony as...