FICTION: The Year's Best

FAR TORTUGA by Peter Matthiessen. With much dialogue and a minimum of description, nine flawed and simple men hunt turtles in the southwest Caribbean and become actors in an elemental drama of the sea.

THE MEMOIRS OF A SURVIVOR by

Doris Lessing. In a vision that veers between allegory and nightmare, a lone woman exists in a futuristic urban landscape of frightful anomie.

HUMBOLDT'S GIFT by Saul Bellow. An obscure old poet dies and his onetime protege suffers in this seriocomic meditation by a major American writer on the value of art and the price...

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