Books: The Small, Clever Tongue

TWO NOVELS by Brigid Brophy. 253 pages. World. $4.95.

The falsest of truisms is that art is communication, as Novelist Brigid Brophy demonstrates with this admirably wicked little book.

Her writing suggests the play of a sleek, recently fed and slightly bored cat. The performance is brilliant, but the reader cannot feel that it is for his benefit; the glossy limbs would be stretched, the back arched and the bit of string stalked across the expanse of carpet even if there were no onlookers to watch.

Author Brophy, 35, is a classics professor at Oxford. She has earned respect for her catlike talents before...

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