Books: Cold Pastoral

FIRST PERSON RURAL by Noel Perrin David R. Godine; 124 pages; $7.95

People who grow their own anything are usually good for about seven minutes of conversation before they suffer an attack of smugness. Apparently their listeners are required to feel inferior because they do not render their own lard or weave their own shirts. Author Noel Perrin, who putters at Vermont farming when he is not teaching English at Dartmouth or writing graceful scholarly books (Dr. Bawdier's Legacy), deserves a longer hearing. True, Perrin sometimes sounds like a country snob who would be horrified if the supermarket patrons he patronizes actually...

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