by CYNTHIA BUCHANAN 212 pages. Morrow. $5.95.
This fresh, efficient first novel speaks directlyalmost without distracting fictional paraphernaliato women who are raising their consciousness and simultaneously lowering their esteem for men. In general, it goes over subjects that are becoming all too familiar at an alarming rate: the folly of women who define themselves only in terms of men and the tyranny of a culture that penalizes them unless they do so. But the author has found an original and horrific setting for her story: a singles apartment-club in Los Angeles.