While this is being published as ""documentary fiction,"" its actuality is unquestionable and its audience will be closest to that of Sharon Curtin's Nobody Ever Died of Old Age. And that's tribute indeed--for this small book, while less militant and passionate, has just that kind of specificity and simplicity. Along with the same approach, whether Tulloch is looking at the hollow hokum of holiday parties or the diurnal grievances which become so large in an existence deprived of any pleasure. Janet Tulloch, primarily through a relatively young woman called Joady Thomas, shafts the ""life within"" quietly, devastatingly: ""Institutional food earns its stigma of tastelessness and boredom honestly."" Through some six or seven other women (all women--like Cathy, diapered at 34 because of multiple sclerosis) you get a eom-' plete vista in this cycle of regression, deterioration, and perhaps a more easeful death--the body hustled away, secretly. Here and there too the personnel appear--the aides smoking in a protected area, the indifferent doctors making their summary rounds. The introduction is by the always outspoken Senator Percy but author Tulloch has managed to convey the quality of life, or non-life, better. You will have shared it.