cover image In Praise of the Stepmother

In Praise of the Stepmother

Mario Vargas Llosa. Penguin Books, $12.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-14-015708-6

Don Rigoberto and his second wife arouse each other by telling highly eroticized classic myths based on the six well-known paintings reproduced here in color; meanwhile, Rigoberto's seemingly cherubic young son, Alfonso, cunningly seduces his stepmother. ``This lapidary novella by the celebrated Peruvian writer reflects an artistry of almost infinite sophistication,'' said PW. (Oct.)