Books: Birth of a Beaver

MEMOIRS OF A DUTIFUL DAUGHTER (382 pp.)—Simone de Beauvoir—World ($5).

Simone de Beauvoir was 20 when she indulged in her first ''orgy." She went to a bar with her cousin Jacques, to whom she was tacitly engaged, and had a dry martini, after which she smashed a few cocktail glasses. Arm in arm with Jacques ("I marveled at this physical intimacy''), she lived it up till 2 a.m. ("I found myself tossing off a créme de menthe") and then reeled home to mother. Mama was up, and in tears. She feared, says Simone, "that Jacques...

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