Books: The Novel: Very Warm for May

DURING the meetings and drinkings that attended the recent National Book Awards, publishers snarled at agents, editors gloomed or glowed about the book business, some dissident writers got together to demand their rights, including "the right to be cherished."

All the usual reasons for the decline of the novel were chewed over. Pop psychology and sociology have moved onto its turf. The New Journalists, crying Wolfe about America, have stolen its reportorial beat. Readers are spending a lot more time in bed with television. And there are always glum statistics about the high cost...

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