Books: End As a Fairy Tale

ETERNAL FIRE (630 pp.) — Colder Willingham—Vanguard ($6.95).

At one end of the astonishing spectrum of Southern novelists there is Faulkner. He loved the land's dark soil and, in a rueful way, its people. Toward the middle of the range is a large group of writers for whom the South is merely a neutral, abundant earth to be walked on and, where it is interesting, written about. At the spectrum's other extremity are a few novelists to whom the South itself is a vast, febrile malevolence. Among these, on the evidence of Eternal Fire,...

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