Books: Tough Old E

THIS IS THE CHILD by Terry Pringle Knopf; 194 pages; $13.95

"Grief fills the room up of my absent child,/ Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,/ . . . Remembers me of all his gracious parts,/ Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form."

Shakespeare's recollection of a dead son in King John echoes through the literary works of grieving authors, from John Gunther's Death Be Not Proud (1953) to Mary-Lou Weisman's Intensive Care: A Family Love Story (1982). Books about children struck down by disease seem to constitute...

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