Books: A Death in the Family

THE HUMAN SEASON (192 pp.)—Edward Lewis Wallant—Harcourt, Brace ($3.75).

First novels tend so often to be the efforts of young men with more feeling than talent, and more talent than control, that the appearance of a new writer whose viewpoint is mature and who knows how to say exactly what he means is something of a literary event. Author Wallant. 34, is such a writer. His first book deals skillfully with an unlikely subject—the grief of a 59-year-old plumber after the sudden death of his wife.

Brief, well-structured and without bravura effects, Wallant's novel compresses whole chapters about the sorrowing man and his...

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