Eight excerpts from the autobiographies of diversely successful women, The selections are remarkably similar in their projection of unsophisticated heroines whose dreams and determination overcame the odds against them. Some of the autobiographies -- Shirley Chisholm's Unbought and Unbossed, Althea Gibson's I Always Wanted to Be Somebody -- are already familiar to youngsters and better read in their entirety if at all. Other selections -- by Shirley MacLaine, Edna Ferber, Margaret Bourke-White -- cover periods before their author-subjects ""found themselves,"" and contain no impressive hints of achievements to come. Only Emily Hahn's account of her university days as an engineering student -- told with humor but filled with examples of the specific small slights that are painfully familiar to any minority member -- has any style or impact. And you can always find that in her own Times and Places (1970).