Books: Coming of Age

THE LYING DAYS (340 pp.)—Nadine Gordimer—Simon & Schuster ($3.95).

The heroine of this book is afflicted with a common ailment: growing up. Her ailment is aggravated by a special complication : South Africa and the drab gold-mining town from which she comes. The pains of adolescence are intensified by "the slow corrosive guilt...which, admitted or denied, is in all white South Africans," and by the fact that while the mine yields gold, the town offers only shale. Groping toward maturity, Helen Shaw supplies her own clinical study of her troubles in the first person...

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