Books: Poor Roy's Child

MEMORIES OF A CATHOLIC GIRLHOOD (245 pp.)—Mary McCarthy—Harcourt Brace ($3.95).

When disaster causes the familiar ground to shudder beneath the feet of a child, a neurotic is sometimes born, or a writer, and often both. Mary McCarthy became a writer. Now 44 and looking down at the fallen arches of the years, Novelist-Essayist McCarthy has told some true tales about herself which on other lips might be mistaken for nostalgic prattle. The wary reader might also be scared by the admission that some of these stories have appeared in The New Yorker—which specializes in such stuff to the point where its...

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