Books: Far from the South Pacific

THE FIRES OF SPRING (495 pp.)—James A. Michener—Random House ($3.50).

For his first book, the fine, simple Tales of the South Pacific, James A. Michener won a Pulitzer Prize. For his second he is likely to get no prize at all, but he may get plenty of readers; The Fires of Spring is a racy pudding, steaming with overheated situations.

The novel tells in autobiographical style how a ragged orphan in a poorhouse grows up (or at least older) to be a ragged novelist in Greenwich Village, "the hidden valley between the breasts of Manhattan."...

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