Picks and Pans Review: A Novel Called Heritage

UPDATED 08/16/1982 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/16/1982 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Margaret Mitchell Dukore

For two-thirds of its length, this book is a witty, cynical success. Anne Sarah Foster, 18, is determined to become a writer. A publisher rejects her story on life with a crazy mother, and an ensuing correspondence punctuates this novel, which has sly insights into the publishing world. Anne Sarah offers to add sex, violence, even murder—anything that will make her book a best-seller—and her offer is accepted. The results are hilarious, until she eliminates the suicidal mother in the story. Annie, the daughter, takes over as heroine, and at this point the real book's breezy tone turns brittle. The plot thins, and slick devices—like those Anne Sarah uses so condescendingly—mar the end of this first novel that began with exuberance and genuine poignancy. Dukore, 31, is an actress turned both playwright and novelist. (Scribner's, $12.95)

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