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Absurdities

Angela Carter, 2 July 1981

Original Sins 
by Lisa Alther.
Women’s Press, 608 pp., £6.95, May 1981, 0 7043 2839 9
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Amateur Passions 
by Lorna Tracy.
Virago, 192 pp., £7.95, April 1981, 0 86068 197 1
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... is not one flabby sentence or second-hand image in the whole book. The same cannot be said for Alther, who is often reduced to stylistic tics such as ‘“I don’t hate men,” said Emily with hatred,’ and, like many American writers, believes it is possible to summon up an entire social ambience by the judicious use of brand names, such as Bass Wejuns ...

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