Books: Notable

LOOK HOW THE FISH LIVE

by J.F. POWERS

190 pages. Knopf. $6.95.

What does the smile of the native optimist have to do with the groan from the cross? What cement will join a world of plastic to a world of Gothic stone? These are the persistent questions of J.F. Powers (Morte D'Urban), with Flannery O'Connor the finest American writer on Catholic themes. Powers' new group of short stories provides no answer, only a cosmic sigh.

The Powers parish of the '60s and '70s has become a beleaguered sanctuary, attacked on one side by the...

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