Books: The Devil Inside

THE PRESENCE OF GRACE (191 pp.)—J. F. Powers—Doubleday ($2.95).

J. F. (for James Farl) Powers, 38, likes to explore a placid world that stirs with life only after some trifling event breaks up the humdrum of routine. It is the parochial world of pastors, curates and their parishioners. The mocked and pitied heroes of Powers' short stories are usually worldly U.S. Roman Catholic priests who have mislaid their sense of vocation in the hubbub of parish politics, bingo socials and Legion of Decency campaigns. Illinois-born and Catholic-reared. Author Powers brings an unsparing eye and...

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