Books: Sliding Seaward

MUSEUMS AND WOMEN AND OTHER STORIES by JOHN UPDIKE 282 pages. Knopf. $6.95.

It seems a bit graceless to complain at this stage (his 41st year, his 19th book) about a writer as gifted and giving as John Updike. He has produced a body of writing whose size and consistent high quality are unapproached by the work of any American writer near his age, except Norman Mailer. It is hard to imagine how John Updike could have managed the business of being John Updike any more faithfully.

Yet it is hard to give him the last...

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