Books: No Magnolias in Florence

THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA (110 pp.)—Ellzabefh Spencer—McGraw-Hill ($3).

The fictional American in Europe is apt to be a boor, a nincompoop, or else a sudden convert to the notion that his home soil is spiritually sterile. Even Henry James, the foremost author in the field, wrote less from an observer's strength than from a vantage point uneasily anchored in an inferiority complex. Talented Novelist Elizabeth Spencer (The Voice at the Back Door) does not entirely escape the compulsion to prove that as a sensitive U.S. writer, she understands the gaucherie of her countrymen. But The Light in the Piazza is one...

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