BOOKS: TROUBLE IN ACADEMIA

ANN BEATTIE'S OLD TRICKS WEAR THIN IN HER LATEST NOVEL

ANN BEATTIE'S NEW NOVEL, HER fifth, is enough to make one wince. Another You (Knopf; 323 pages; $24) is set in academia, a trap for many novelists--too many temptations to flaunt the detritus of years of reading, watching and listening to the culture. Beattie, with her penchant for artsy or newsy allusions, is caught right away. In the opening five pages are references to Richard Nixon, Elvis Presley, Henry Kissinger and Marianne Faithfull. Marshall Lockard, the New England college professor who is at the novel's center, meets an early challenge thus: "He did something he never did: he turned off All...

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