Books: Walls, Dreams & Women

THE FABULOUS LIFE OF DIEGO RIVERA by Bertram D. Wolfe. 457 pages. Stein & Day. $10.

The lies Diego Rivera told were as sweeping as his murals: vast, colorful and complicated. They charmed women, infuriated men (Trotsky left Diego's home, bag and baggage, after one tall tale too many), and were a biographer's despair. "Who could be so discourteous," asks Biographer Wolfe, "who so foolish and dully matter-of-fact, as to disbelieve such attractive, exciting, baroquely designed, richly detailed, marvelously verisimilar yet preposterous stories, told while the painter smiled and snorted, his bulging eyes...

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