Books: Roughing Up the Gentle Sex Stanley and the Women

by Kingsley Amis; Summit; 256 pages; $14.95

For a while there it looked as if readers in the land of the free and the home of the brave were going to be protected from Author Kingsley Amis' 17th novel. Although it had won considerable acclaim when it appeared in England during the spring of 1984, Stanley and the Women did not find U.S. publishers begging for the rights to reprint it. Odd, thought some people, including Amis' literary agent Jonathan Clowes, who offered the novel to three houses only to receive "somewhat embarrassed" turndowns. Representatives from two of the American publishers told Clowes that their negative decisions were...