Books: The Editors Like
GARDENERS AND ASTRONOMERSby Edith Sitwell, (Vanguard, $2.75.) New poems by a master who has the courage to take the meaning of human life as her theme and the capacity to meet the challenge she sets herself.
THE WAKING by Theodore Roethke. (Doubleday, $3.00.) Selected poems covering twenty years and three styles, the first witty and pictorial, the second elliptical and fantastic, the last a fusion of the livelier features of the earlier work.
WRACK AT TIDESEND by Osbert Sitwell. (Caedmon, $2.50.) With an intriguing combination of nostalgia and satiric humor, the author depicts the dying Victorian age through a series of character studies in verse.
THE GYPSY BALLADS OF FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA translated by Rolfe Humphries. (Indiana University Press, $2.75.) Garcia Lorca’s bitter, haunting, very Spanish poems translated with great finesse and no intrusion of the translator’s own personality.
WIDOW MANby Edgar Wolfe. (Atlantic Little, Brown, $3.00.) A white man’s readjustment to a Negro community after the death of his Negro wife sounds like a race relations novel but proves to be a dryly amusing, pleasant story of human nature in general.
THE FOOL KILLER by Helen Eustis. (Doubleday, $2.75.) Part comic and part terrifying, this novel tells how a huck Finnish runaway falls in with a hermit, a juvenile witch, and a romantic tramp. The boy narrator is a thoroughly attractive brat.
THE THIRD GENERATIONby Chester Himes. (World, $3.95.) How an ambitious, neurotic woman ruins her own family is the theme of this well-written novel, which differs considerably from others of the type because the family in question happens to be colored.
Lives and Letters
THE CORRESPONDENCE OF THOMAS WOLFE AND HOMER ANDREW WATT and THOMAS WOLFE AT WASHINGTON SOUARE by Thomas Clark Pollock and Oscar Cargill. (New York University Press, $10.00 boxed.) The correspondence is an item for enthusiasts, but the Washington Square book is of general interest for its comparison of Wolfe’s fictional version of his teaching experiences with the more objective recollections of students and colleagues.
THE HEAD AND HEART OF THOMAS JEFFERSONby John Dos Passos. (Doubleday, $5.00.) With no pretensions to writing definitive biography, Mr. Dos Passos presents a convincing picture of Jefferson and a mass of entertaining and enlightening facts about the people he knew and the Virginia countryside in which he lived.
THE LETTERS OF SYDNEY SMITHedited by Nowell C. Smith. (Oxford University Press, $17.00, 2 vols.) Many of the letters in this revised collection have not been published before, while all of them are the work of one of the most comical men who ever unstrung his friends with laughter.