Books: Family Ordeal

ALEX, THE LIFE OF A CHILD by Frank Deford Viking; 196 pages; $13.95 Many of us have convinced ourselves that children don't die anymore, not in the latter half of the 20th century, not in the United States of America, and certainly not in the suburbs." But of course they do, as Journalist and Novelist Frank Deford piercingly recounts in this spare and vivid eulogy to his daughter Alexandra, "Alex," who died in 1980 of cystic fibrosis.

In 1972 doctors discovered that the pale and distressingly listless baby had CF. The disease strikes one in 1,000 children, is always fatal, but...

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