Books: For Love or Money

THE WOMAN OF ROME (433 pp.)—Albedo Moravia—Farrar, Sfraus ($3.50).

By her own admission, Adriana was "a real beauty" with "firm straight legs, curving hips, a long back, narrow waist and broad shoulders. Mother said . . . there was not a figure like mine in all Rome." Adriana liked men, all kinds and any age, with an earthy nymphomania that inevitably took her into prostitution.

Adriana is the ripe, first-person singular heroine of The Woman of Rome, a long, languorous novel by Italy's most trumpeted living writer, Alberto Moravia. U.S. readers may well ask what all the critical tizzy is about. In The...

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