Books: Day of Squalls

I AM MARY DUNNE by Brian Moore. 217 pages. Viking. $4.95.

What is least important about this small, fierce novel is that it is a brilliant stunt—a male author staying undetected, for the length of a book, in the mind of a female main character. Brian Moore does not pull off his wig and bow, nor is there any impulse to applaud. Applause, of course, would mean that the deception had failed. It is, in fact, successful, and Moore earns, with great cleverness, a distinction that many writers are born with—that of being judged as a lady novelist.

But attaining the status of...

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