Books: News from the Defeated

STORIES (309 pp.)—Jean Stafford, John Cheever, Daniel Fuchs, William Maxwell—Farrar, Straus & Cudahy ($3.95).

The writers of these 15 short stories have several things in common. They are middle-aged (ranging from 41 to 48) and have thus been exposed to two world wars and a depression. They are Northerners, so their theme is largely urban frustration instead of the fashionable Southern predilection for rural decay. And like most contemporary short-story writers, they are at their best when remembering their childhood. The exception to this rule is Brooklynite Daniel Fuchs, who here ignores adolescence...

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