cover image The Fifth Child

The Fifth Child

Doris May Lessing. Vintage Books USA, $13.95 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-679-72182-6

A smug, conservative couple's fifth child (after four model children) inspires fear and horror. ``The implications of this slim, gripping work are ominous,'' wrote PW. Lessing indicts those in authority who refuse to acknowledge responsibility for the violence inherent in mankind. (May)