Books: Condemnation Proceedings

THE TENANTS by Bernard Malamud. 230 pages, Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $6.95.

"Home is where my book is," thinks 36-year-old Harry Lesser as he hotfoots it back to his bachelor apartment in a decaying New York City tenement. There, for the past ten years, Lesser has been working on his third novel. His first was a success, his second kissed off as evidence of sophomore slump. The new novel, entitled The Promised End, is about a writer who cannot love generously. "Love up to a point," Lesser writes, "is no love at all."

But he finds himself curiously unable to finish the book....

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