The years since World War II have seen an exciting resurgence of the short story. From Albert Camus to William Maxwell, from Amos Oz to R.K. Narayan, from Ann Beattie to Yukio Mishima - this incomparably rich and diverse collection attests to the vigor and excellence of the modern short story throughout the world. Daniel Halpern's marvelous anthology offers not only European and American but also "Third World" literature of the first rank (fully a third of the works are translated); and of the English-language stories, a considerable number are by Australian, African, and Asian writers. The eighty-one masterpieces Halpern has chosen include traditional forms, both of classical realism and of the extended fairy tale or fable, as well as the gossipy village banter of the traditional folktale and the outer bounds of surrealist fiction. Many of the stories are cast against an exotic setting; others are humorous and matter-of-fact; some are political, others entirely absorbed with private themes of the heart.
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