FÊTE (248 pp.)Roger VaillandKnopf ($3.95).
"A woman," said Jean-Marc, "is never easy to have. One must be wily."
"It is the same as writing a book," said Duc. "One must be persistent and wily."
"Is it easy for you?"
"Neither with books nor with women. But at my age and because of the novels that I have written, the game follows a different pattern. They know that I know their wiles and they know mine. We waste less time."
This passage of dialogueand indeed the whole novelis an unwitting double parody of the love game (French) and the writing game (Hemingway). It is persistent but...