Picks and Pans Review: Younger Than That Now

updated 09/04/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/04/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Jeff Durstewitz and Ruth Williams

Here's a novel idea, though this is no novel. It's a tell-all memoir by two nobodies that is as involving as any celebrity exposé. The unlikely duo, who have subtitled their work A Shared Passage from the Sixties, met as pen pals in 1969. She was a privileged Mississippi belle, he a working-class braggadocio from Long Island. Though they don't see eye to eye, they develop a mutual crush (clashed on their first meeting), and their correspondence goes on for some 30 years. As teens, both fancy themselves experts on race, sex and love. "I think the whole idea of virginity at marriage is kind of ridiculous," writes 17-year-old Jeff. As they age from radicals to yuppies to nesting middle-agers just shy of 50, the authors come to realize, a bit sadly, that they're not quite so certain about things. (Bantam, $23.95)

Bottom Line: Small masterpiece

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