Books: In Praise of Childhood

THE EDGE OF DAY (275 pp.)—Laurie Lee—Morrow ($4).

The current style in writing is to run down childhood. Described from a psychiatrist's couch, it often takes on the look of a private hell, where the only fun is in being singed. Most adults know-that childhood is not really so bad. It hurts, of course, but it has its compensations-often wispy and ungraspable by memory. In his autobiography of boyhood in an English village, 45-year-old British Poet Laurie Lee shows that his childhood is still with him, like a second self. The Edge of Day has a shine that is as foreign...

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