Books: Good Money, Bad Novel

BLACK FOUNTAINS (374 pp.)—Oswald Wynd—Doubleday ($2.75).

It has become almost a truism that the fattest U.S. publishers' prizes go to poor novels. Resting firmly in this tradition, Black Fountains has won its author $20,000 and the publicity tub-thumping that is sure to go with it. The business, if not the literary, reasons for its selection seem fairly obvious. It is an "inside" novel about Japan from 1938 to 1945, and it has a Japanese heroine who is both "modern" and curvy.

Young (33) Author Wynd was born in Tokyo of Scottish (Baptist missionary) parents, was thus a Japanese citizen as well as a...

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