Books: The Girl in the Gold Borsalino a Wider World: Portraits in an

Adolescence by Kate Simon; Harper & Row; 186 pages; $14.95

Kate Simon, best known as the author of guidebooks, is one of those rare writers who is preternaturally incapable of composing a dull sentence. Here, for example, are the pickings of a random sampling of her work. A description of a Canal Street flea market from New York Places and Pleasures: "Inside, a sizable jungle of loose white and tan shoelaces, Dracula banks which need batteries for pushing out a pale green hand to grasp a coin, among the books one volume of an obsolete encyclopedia and a novel by Clare Boothe Luce." From Mexico Places and Pleasures: "One young man...

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