Books: Eight to Beware

THE GROUP by Mary McCarthy, 378 pages. Harcourt, Brace & World. $5.95.

Eight little Vassar girls competing hard

for heaven

Payne Whitney got one, and then there were seven.

Mary McCarthy's novel The Group, 20 years in the writing, has been signaled by a first printing of 75,000 copies, and for the first time, highbrow readers who have long acknowledged an athletic and logical brain will meet those who prefer the fictional products of female temperament.

Apparently just a novel that begins with a Vassar lady's marriage and ends with a Vassar lady's funeral, with a...

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