BOOKS: TABOO TIME

A TRENDY CONFESSIONAL TALE OF INCEST FALLS FLAT

It might be better if this woeful memoir had been a novel; its tone of hysterical self-obsession might pass as fiction. But Kathryn Harrison has already drawn on the theme of adult incest in her 1991 novel, Thicker than Water, to no great reverberance, so in The Kiss (Random House; 207 pages; $20) she tries the currently fashionable route of confession. Hers: an affair with her father.

Harrison's preacher father was kicked out of the house by her mother and grandparents when she was tiny, and she had almost no contact with him until she was 20. The household was grim....

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