Books: Transvaal Tangle

MITTEE (312 pp.)—Daphne Rooke—Houghton, Mifflin ($3).

The U.S. South used to be the main source of the world's supply of fiction plots about the clash of white and Negro; in the last dozen years, South African novelists have moved into the market. The latest is Transvaal-born Daphne Rooke, 37. Her unassuming little novel, Mittee, is rooted in the well-worn situation of the interracial triangle, but it has two kinds of welcome freshness: it

1) avoids fuss or fury of any kind, and

2) lets Selina, the mulatto girl, tell the story.

Mittee is a story of...

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