Books: Richer than Treacle

TEXTURES OF LIFE (249 pp.)—Hortense CaUsher—Little, Brown ($4.75).

It sounds perfectly insufferable. David and Liz are newlyweds and weanling artists. In full flight from the soft clutch of uptown parental comfort, the two make their nest in an industrial loft in lower Manhattan. After a series of predictable experiences—first night, first fight, first child—they are drawn back to the kind of cozy middle-class coop they flew in the first place.

In serving all this up, however, Hortense Calisher, a memorable short-story writer with one forgettable novel (False Entry) to her credit, has concocted something...

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