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True Books



Second Act: Life After Colostomy and Other Adventures,

by Barbara Barrie (Scribner, $23).

Synopsis: Barrie, a star of Barney Miller, Suddenly Susan, and similar fare, loses her rectum to cancer after ignoring unexplained bleeding in that region for nearly 40 years.

Representative quote: "At first I whimpered while trying to clean myself with a moistened piece of gauze. That only hurt worse, and I started to sob like a person deep in grief. Well, I was grieving--for my lost rectum."

Noteworthy flaw: Most strangers met in the book are fans, such as nurse Terry Haus, who greets Barrie with: "You know, I just love you. I love your work. I still remember One Potato, Two Potato, and I adored 'Barney Miller.' I see you on cable all the time. You've always been so special, so real."

Try To Feel It My Way: New Help for Touch Dominant People and Those Who Care About Them,by Suzette Haden Elgin (John Wiley & Sons, $14.95).

Synopsis: Dr. Elgin, author of You Can't Say That to Me and other works, explains the challenges facing those who experience the world more through touch than, say, through sight or sound.

Representative quote: "Children who touch others, unless the touching has been requested and is from a set of approved kinds of touching, get in trouble."

Noteworthy flaw: AFIS--Annoyingly Frequent Italics Syndrome.

Skate Talk: Figure Skating in the Words of the Stars, by Steve Milton (Firefly, $14.95).

Synopsis: Some 70 professional figure skaters of the past and present offer frank talk about their chosen sport.

Representative quote: "I wake up around 7:15. I go to the rink and warm up and skate at nine o'clock. I do about two and a half hours. I have a lunch break and then I skate for another hour and a half. And then I go home." (From Tara Lipinski's offering, "My Day.")

Noteworthy flaw:Book padded with mostly nonstars, such as Chicago Tribune figure-skating reporter Phil Hersh, who begins his thoughts with: "I could see the transformation of a whole political system through Katarina Witt."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): book covers.

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