Books: Amor Vincit Omnia?

THE HABIT OF LOVING

by DORIS LESSING

311 pages. Thomas Y. Crowell. $6.95.

Love in these Doris Lessing stories is a disease, often contagious, occasionally fatal. Only the very young confuse it with pleasure. A mild attack of love can drive Lessing women to pray: "O God, make me old soon." It is almost as if love were Mrs. Lessing's version of hubris—a case of overreach for which those who would be like gods must be punished. And, in fact, whether these 17 reprinted tales (first collected in 1957) take place in Mrs. Lessing's own...

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