A purgative self-portrait which, wincing all the way, examines the raddled, ravaged life of a former actress and a middle-aged ""middle-class Medea."" During the course of one day from the submerging dream with which she awakens re her husband's death (willed or accidental) to her final resolution- reconciliation of their destructive inseparability in life both conjugally and professionally. Pauline, who in the last five years since Austin's death has retreated to a degree from the world and semi-retired from the theatre, is consumed by doubts which drive her to her Dr. Oppenheim: she gnaws at the small growth on her lower lip, hopes for more from a younger, married lover than her mirror will justify, lashes out at others (her agent, etc.) in this parasitic fringe world. But she is actually friendless except for her poor old dog. August, Mr. Friedman (he wrote an earlier quasi-case study of a homosexual, Tetermpole) is something of a literary taxidermist preserves what he observes with a percussive, stifling realism. An impressive and unequivocal talent, however enervating.