Inventing The Self

TITLE: THE MAN WHO WAS LATE

AUTHOR: LOUIS BEGLEY

PUBLISHER: KNOPF; 243 PAGES; $21

THE BOTTOM LINE: A novel of manners that artfully reveals the hidden torment of a man who never quite belonged.

Louis Begley's first novel, Wartime Lies, drew on his childhood as a Polish Jew who escaped the Nazi death camps by living as a Gentile. Assimilating to survive is quite different from assimilating to succeed. Begley did both. After the war, he emigrated to the U.S., went to Harvard and prospered as a Manhattan lawyer before turning to fiction. The Man Who Was Late follows his first...

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