Books: strange case of miss r.

THE BIRD'S NEST (276 pp.)—Shirley Jackson—FarrarStraus &Young ($3.50).

Split personality seems to be the literary vogue this season. In A Garden to the Sea (TIME, April 19), Philip Toynbee split his hero four ways, mainly to tell an experimental love story. Marghanita Laski used the simpler, two-way, Jekyll & Hyde approach in The Victorian Chaise Longue (TIME, June 14). In The Bird's Nest, Novelist Shirley Jackson reverts to Toynbee's four-in-one split to document a tortuous case of mental illness.

Elizabeth Richmond is an unassuming, 22-year-old clerk-typist who trots dutifully to her museum job every morning and dutifully back to her brandy-swigging guardian, Aunt...

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