Books: The Past Recaptured


by Mina Curtiss

Houghton Mifflin; 243 pages; $9.95

For most of her life, writes Mina Curtiss, she had an incurable obsession: she could not resist reading other people's mail. When she was a child, Mina was caught going through her mother's love letters in the attic. Shortly after she returned from her honeymoon, she read her husband's letters from his first wife. "I was convinced," she explains, "that the clue to the secret of life, the creative process, lay in personal letters intended for somebody else." Finally, in middle age, she...

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