Books: Guilt-Edged Confusion

A CORNER OF THE WORLD (246 pp.)— Robert Shaplen—Knopf ($2.75).

Robert Shaplen's book of short stories, A Corner of the World, has the topical interest of current news dispatches from Asia. Only the first story has a China setting (Calcutta, Saigon, Manila and Macao are backdrops for the others), but all of them have a common theme: the tragedy of a billion people caught in the tidal wave of change sweeping the Far East. Complementing this theme is the guilt-edged confusion with which Shaplen's white men duck the vast problem instead of facing it.

Newsman Shaplen spent 3½ years in Asia himself, and...

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