VERDI: A Life in the Theater ...

VERDI: A Life in the Theater by Charles Osborne (Alfred A. Knopf: $22.95; 360 pp.) Osborne illustrates Verdi's deep knowledge of the theater at a time when opera, thanks to Verdi's own genius and Wagner's, was at its highest as a theatrical, musical, social and political force.--Peter Hemmings

MYRNA LOY Being and Becoming by James Kotsilibas-Davis and Myrna Loy (Alfred A. Knopf: $22.95; 358 pp.) Myrna Loy has played more than a sophisticated Nora in the six "Thin Man" films; she has been a longtime political activist and worked untiringly for more than a decade on behalf of civil rights legislation.--Betty Lukas

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