Books: Radicals & Working Stiffs

TELL ME A RIDDLE (156 pp.)—Til He 'Olsen—Lippincott ($3.50).

Author Tillie Olsen, 48, could not get around to writing until after raising a family of four daughters. This is her total published work: four short stories. They were worth waiting for.

The title story is the longest and most ambitious, and tells of an aging couple who gave their lives to social protest and now find themselves shipwrecked with their radical passions in an affluent society they never made. Their occasional meetings with old comrades for reminiscent talk of "hunger, secret meetings, human rights'' are continually interrupted by the grandchildren shouting "Commercial's on;...

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