More on Moore THE BOOK Marianne Moore at the Dial Commissions an Article on the Movies, which received notice in Book Report (Book World, Dec. 30), was mentioned without naming its publisher.
As editor of the book, which published the first letters of Marianne Moore from her editor's desk at the Dial, I would appreciate Book World's pointing out that the publisher is The Press at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80903 ERNEST KROLL Washington Give and Take I WISH to correct an erroneous statement made by Edmund Morris in his recommendation of my book, The Dream and the Deal: The Federal Writers' Project, 1935-1943 (Book World, Dec. 2). Although it is flattering to note that the book is one of only three books that Morris recommends, I find it disturbing that he recommends the book for the wrong reason. He writes that he found it "deeply interesting; it is a case example of why government should not subsidize artists -- because inevitably, after the first burst of creativity, politics perverts both giver and taker." To characterize the book in such a manner is to pervert its intention. Actually, the book provides documentary evidence that, despite all the administrative blunders, political imbroglios and congressional salvos, the writers and would-be writers on the Federal Writers Project produced more good books (especially its remarkable American Guide Series) than anyone dreamed they could.
I wonder if Morris had some other book in mind. He may well have, for he singles out the Princeton University Press as the publisher of The Dream and the Deal. The only university press that has published the book is the University of Pennsylvania Press, which recently let it go out of print. JERRE MANGIONE Haverford, Pa. Stars of India ANAND Chandavarkar's sweeping dismissal of Indian writing in English (Letters, Book World, Dec. 30) suffers from the same unprofessional carelessness he ascribes to India's literary critics.
Chandavarkar's suggestion that Indian writers have not tackled the country's most important issues since the 1930s is untenable. They have all explored the themes he cites and done it remarkably well. Rural poverty and the plight of India's underclass -- Kamala Markandaya's Nectar in a Sieve and A Handful of Rice; the "omnipresent bureaucracy" -- Upamanyu Chatterjee's English, August; the struggles of the common man -- Anita Desai's In Custody. The religious divide, the meaning of the traditional ethos and the very nature of Indian nationhood are brilliantly explored in Shashi Tharoor's The Great Indian Novel, which combines satire, history and philosophy in ways that no writer elsewhere has attempted. Chandavarkar asks for "the great Indian novel"; he need look no further than the book of that title.
That there is no Indian Kafka is hardly a valid criticism: there is no American Kafka either. But is there an American Tharoor or Markandaya, Allan Sealy or Amitav Ghosh? Steve Coll got it right the first time. He does not deserve Chandavarkar's strictures. JOYDEEP BOSE New Delhi, India Query FOR A book on the post-presidential lives of U.S. presidents, I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has anecdotes, stories, letters, publications, photos -- anything that throws light on the activities and demands of America's chief executives after they left office. DONALD G. BOUDREAU 6308 South Kings Highway Alexandria, Va. 22306