Books: Small Things

THE WOMEN AT THE PUMP — Knut Hamsun—Translated from the Norwegian by Arthur G. Chater—Knopf ($3).

Daily the women gather at the pump to fetch water—and to discuss the myriad affairs of the small town, for in a town where only Blacksmith Carlsen and the Postmaster are religious, there is plenty to discuss. The parson may be busy enough christening and confirming, but like as not the christened child has no right to the name, the confirmed is no longer the virgin she should be. There was always a new suspicious twist in the...

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