Picks and Pans Review: I Shouldn't Be Telling You This

updated 05/09/1983 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/09/1983 01:00AM

by Mary Breasted

A newspaper much like the Village Voice is called the Evil Eye. Another newspaper that sounds very much as if it might be the New York Times is called the Newspaper. Breasted once free-lanced for the Voice and reported for the Times. Here we are again in autobiographical-novel land. This one is about a naive young woman who goes to Radcliffe, then to New York, where her do-gooder job in Harlem ends when she is unfairly accused of corrupting the morals of minors. She stumbles into journalism by writing a piece for the Evil Eye, then manages to attract the attention of an editor on the Newspaper who takes her to lunch and hires her on impulse. Breasted, who writes as if she thinks the reader might start to fall asleep without a sock of scandal or raunchy sex and foul language in every other paragraph, is out for blood. None of her former managing editors is likely to be flattered by the vile, scheming character who runs the Newspaper. But this is an informed book. Readers who don't know much about journalism from the inside may feel that all the infighting, the lies, the manipulating for power, the silly feuds and vicious deceits Breasted writes about are wildly overblown just for the sake of a fast giggle. To those in the business, though, I Shouldn't Be Telling You This will have its moments of truth. (Harper & Row, $15.95)

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