Editor's note: The following short reviews represent...

Editor's note: The following short reviews represent the best books of 1996 in the judgment of our contributors. Their reviews have been edited and condensed for reasons of space.

Book Review also asked 12 writers living in California--Czeslaw Milosz, Brian Moore, Maxine Hong Kingston, Cristina Garcia, T. Coraghessan Boyle, John Rechy, Herbert Gold, Leonard Michaels, Carolyn See, William Vollman, April Smith, Alice Adams--to select the most important book they read in 1996.

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