Books: Mixed Fiction, may 30, 1960

THE BIG WARD, by Jacoba van Velde (120 pp.; Simon & Schuster; $3), a major literary success in Europe, is an uncommonly honest novel about the ordinary death of an ordinary old woman. In it, Dutch Author Jacoba van Velde manages to skirt the standard literary paths to death—cynicism, hysteria, indifference and bravado. Her setting is an old-women's nursing home, and in it the place to avoid is the big ward. To be moved there from the little ward, which beds only six, is a sure sign that the doctors have sighted the end;...

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