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Raymond Queneau
New in paperback: Richard Yates, Denis Johnson, Charles Baxter and more

Barry Day (ed): "The Letters of Noel Coward" (Vintage) "The human race is a let down. It thinks it's progressed but it hasn't. It thinks it's risen above the primeval slime but it hasn't -- it's still wallowing in it!," says Gilda in Noel Coward's 1930s play "Design for Living." Coward -- glittering, bitchy, charming -- is a writer who didn't seem like he would last but, triumphantly, has. That's because his mind was so sharp and his writing so bright and crisp, qualities amply reflected in this superb collection that weaves Coward's letters into a text that reads more like a life portrait. "I've got a...

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