Books: Seasons Turn

LIMITS OF THE LAND by Curtis Harnack Doubleday; 232 pages; $8.95

Travelers write, doctors write, clerics and politicians write incessantly, admen confess and pilots deplane their fears, soldiers are addicted memoirists. But real farmers do not write, and, of course, writers do not really farm. It may be a question of mentality, but probably not; the reason would seem to be that writers need idleness and farmers lack it.

Thus Curtis Harnack's Limits of the Land, a convincing, brooding novel of life on a small Iowa farm during the 1940s, is a rarity whose value extends beyond its considerable literary strengths. It is...

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