Books: Victors & Vanquished

GENERATION WITHOUT FAREWELL (300 pp.)—Kay Boyle—Knopf ($3.95).

Only a decade after the period it describes, Kay Boyle's latest novel wears the mustiness of history. She is telling about the U.S. occupation of Germany in 1948: what the occupiers were like, how the occupied saw them, what chances decent, imaginative people found of bridging the gap between victors and vanquished. Author Boyle, a resident of postwar Germany, writes with her usual intensity and better-than-average documentation. And she can see straight to where it is uncomfortable for most people to look—into their own natures.

The situation seems almost routine. Colonel Roberts, the post commander in...

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