Books: Triumphant Victim


by Harry Crews

Harper & Row; 213 pages; $10.95

Fear, hate and exploitation are themes that haunt Harry Crews. His fiction (Car, A Feast of Snakes) is peopled by grotesque and tragic victims of the rural South. As his autobiography, A Childhood, reveals, Crews earned his vision. He is, to use his own term, a "grit," a poor white brought up on a Depression dirt farm in Georgia, fearful of landlords, Government, floods, of life itself. Maturity has brought courage, but the shudders of childhood remain. So does the gallery of odd personae who enliven his latest book of personal essays,...

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