Books: Notable: Mar. 21, 1983

AFTER LONG SILENCE by Michael Straight Norton; 351 pages; $17.50

Upstairs in the nursery, little Michael Straight plays with his fire engine. Below, in his family's Fifth Avenue town house, a guest, Joseph Conrad, reads from one of his novels. In this tortured memoir, Straight, 66, wonders what work the author recited. He rather hopes it was Under Western Eyes, the story of Razumov, a young man who betrays an older student and loses his soul in the process.

From time to time, Conrad's name is loudly dropped in order to underline the supposed resemblance between Razumov and Straight. But there...

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