Woman Destroyed

by Simone de Beauvoir. Putnam, $5.95.

Simone de Beauvoir has devoted so much of her writing to complaints of the mistreatment unjustly bestowed upon women by men that the three stories in her latest book come as something of a surprise. True, all the stories are about women and all the women suffer, which is the usual De Beauvoir form. What is unusual is that these ladies have brought disaster on themselves by the exercise of dreary vices like thickheadedness, possessiveness, and ill temper. The style is witty, the onion-peeling technique is immensely adroit, and the three women are believable individuals presented with a wry mixture of sympathy and exasperation. The men involved are hardly more than stage props, chargeable with nothing worse than an instinct for selfpreservation.