Books: How Real Were the Virtues

THE JOHN WOOD CASE (314 pp.)—Ruth Suckow— Viking ($3.95).

To anyone born after World War I, Ruth Suckow's new novel may seem no more contemporary than an old-fashioned Sunday sermon, no closer to modern literature than Horatio Alger. It may be hard to believe that she was once praised as a realist, and that so joyous a literary scalper as Henry Louis Mencken cheered her on and gave her houseroom in his American Mercury. The fact is, Author Suckow has not changed at all, but life has. The Iowa that was her childhood home is still the source of her fictional truth....

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