Books: Time in Reverse

FIRST LOVE AND LAST—Howard Coxe— Harcourt, Brace ($2).

Time, measured by minutes or months, seconds or centuries, is as trickily undefinable as electricity. Author Howard Coxe's well-told tale attempts no definition but shows with ingenious clarity that one way of looking at time is backwards, over one shoulder. His story of a spinster's life begins with her death sentence, ends with the interview in her girlhood that lost her her lover. This reversal of the time sequence has a natural advantage of giving the story a marked crescendo. With his second book, Author...

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