Books: Density of the Past

KEEPERS OF THE HOUSE by Shirley Ann Grau. 309 pages. Knopf. $4.95.

Because the label "feminine" has come to be attached to the stylistic spinsterism and tiny ironies of both sexes, there is a temptation to miscall the writing of Shirley Ann Grau masculine. It is not, although the author has no trouble bringing to stage center a male in whom there is no sense of Bernhardt corseted as Hamlet.

In this third novel the author's calm view is womanly enough, but it is of a world in which men do command the center of the stage. The world is Southern: planting, shooting,...

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