The Autobiography of My Mother

by Rosellen Brown. Doubleday, $7.95. Mother is a lawyer distinguished for years of brilliant and unprofitable work in various good causes. She will fight to the death for the people, but has no patience with eccentric individual persons. Daughter is a wilted flower child, given to floods of tears and generous emotion uncomplicated by practical action. The two have in common only the refusal to budge a millimeter from their respective positions. Naturally, when it comes to sharing an apartment, they drive each other wild and arrive at disaster. Ms, Brown has constructed the novel in alternating first-person narratives, with a sharp, clever distinction between the two voices. It must be admitted that Daughter is too eloquent and well organized for such a slobby type, but since a style suitable to her mind would be unbearable, the author was right in sacrificing realism for readability. And the book is certainly readable, an intelligent, continuously interesting exploration of the reciprocal bad influence that can exist between parent and child.