Books: Old Truth, New Shine

SPRING SONG AND OTHER STORIES (285 pp.)—Joyce Gary—Harper ($3.95).

As a novelist and storyteller, the late Joyce Gary knew the neatest trick of all: from first to last, be sure to talk about people. He looked at them with love, which is bound to make a modern writer a little unfashionable, but the main thing is that he looked at them, sensing that each one was different from all the others.

By being happily human, he was able to write well and perhaps importantly (The Horse's Mouth, Mister Johnson) without borrowing from the jargon of psychiatrists or social workers, without trying to...

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