Books: The Prisoners of Gender

MANTISSA by John Fowles; Little, Brown; 196 pages; $13.95

A man awakens in a padded room. He cannot remember how he got there or much of anything else. Two women are watching him, and from them he learns his name: Miles Green. He begins to dislike the observer who calls herself his wife and feels relieved when she goes away. The attractive doctor with the strangely Mediterranean cast to her features stays and summons an equally appealing West Indian nurse. Before long, Miles realizes that his condition is going to be treated in an unusual fashion. Ordering him to fondle her breasts,...

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