Books: Deafening Roar

ANGEL OF LIGHT by Joyce Carol Gates Dutton; 434 pages; $15.50

There has always been something off-putting about the fiction of Joyce Carol Gates, even when, as in her short stories, it is at its most controlled and least melodramatic. What sets the teeth on edge is not the appalling prolificacy that has driven her to turn out 13 novels, eleven collections of stories, three books of criticism and five volumes of poetry in less than two decades while maintaining a full university schedule. It is not the author's bloodthirstiness— her plots are more sanguinary even than real life in the 20th...

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