Books: Italian Alley

A TALE OF POOR LOVERS (369 pp.)—Vasco Pratolini—Viking ($3.50).

Publishers have begun to balance the flood of G.I. novels about wartime Italy by letting the Italians speak for themselves. The American veteran's picture of Italy (in such books as All Thy Conquests, The Gallery and The Wolf That Fed Us) stressed the loneliness and isolation of individual Italians and their G.I. counterparts. Pratolini's Tale of Poor Lovers, a novel of Italy after World War I and of the goings-on in Florence's impoverished Via del Corno, makes the converse point: that men's lives are intricately intermingled, for good or evil, with the lives...

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