Books: Wakes and Confessions

DOWN ALL THE DAYS by Christy Brown. 266 pages. Stein & Day. $6.95.

Christy Brown, 37, is one of 22 children born into a Dublin working-class family. He is also a near totally disabled victim of cerebral palsy. But literary language is not one of his infirmities. In Down All the Days, which seems more memoir than first novel, he shows a native gift for the familiar set pieces of the Irish novel: there are confession and wake scenes, tableaux of biddies drinking and Da's beating up on their wives, vignettes of funerals and prostitutes...

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