Books: Short & Sour

FICTION OF THE FIFTIES (383 pp.)—Edited by Herbert Gold—Doubleday ($3.95).

When Editor Herbert Gold polled the writers in this anthology about the special problems of writing in the '505, they responded with heart-quickening uniformity. "I would say," says one, "that the problem of writing fiction in this decade is basically no different from writing in the past." Fortunately, the short stories are a good deal better than the communal preface by their authors. The special atmosphere of the '505 is evoked by a collection whose average of competence is commendably high and whose...