And Some Other Recent Fiction

Richard Yates, among contemporary writers, is an unexcelled documentarian of sadness. His new novel, THE EASTER PARADE (Delacorte/Seymour Lawrence, $7.95), chronicles the life, from girlhood to middle age, of a likable, intelligent, and seemingly independent woman, who brims over with unresolved innocence, longing, and loneliness. She is revealed to us in large part by the way in which she sees her disappointing men (Yates has a very good eye for masculine weakness). As in his previous novels, Yates can be criticized for determinism—his characters seldom have a chance to enhance their lot by moral or emotional choice. But the details of their suffering are exact, indisputable, and moving.
I haven’t heard of a William Herrick cult, but he’s a perfect candidate for culthood: a fresh, exuberant writer who seems to perform essentially for his own delight. GOLCZ (Columbia Publishing Company, $7.95) spoofs romantic love as it is —even now—experienced in America. The comedy gets a bit schematic for my tastes, but moment by moment this novel is jaunty, lusty, a rueful appreciation of youth that could have been written only by a healthy survivor of that condition.
Richard Todd