Books: Adultery Doesn't Pay

THE SLEEPLESS MOON (375 pp.)—H. E. Bates—Atlantic-Little, Brown ($4).

The main question raised by British Novelist Herbert Ernest Bates is: How long can a writer go on being promising without paying off? In Bates's case, the answer seems to be indefinitely. Now 50, he had more fine short stories to his credit in his thirties than most good writers turn out in a lifetime. But short stories do not pay well, and Bates, like any sensible fictioneer, wants to be paid as well as read. So novels it was, and promising though several of them...

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