Here are all of Grace Paley's classic stories collected in one volume. Her quirky, boisterous characters and rich use of language have won her readers' hearts and secured her place as one of America's most accomplished writers of short fiction.
This collection brings together Paley's three previous volumes of stories: The Little Disturbances of Man (1959; Penguin, 1985. reprint), Enormous Changes at the Last Minute (Farrar, 1974), and Later the Same Day ( LJ 1/86). Paley's inventive style and her funny, feisty, irreverent characters create vivid slices of life. Her stories often concern women coping with children alone, as in ``An Interest in Life,'' where a woman has an affair after her husband deserts her. A continuing character, Faith, is a divorced woman with children who gets her emotional support from her women friends. In ``Faith in a Tree,'' Faith's interests expand to include politics after she witnesses an antiwar demonstration in the park. In ``A Conversation with My Father,'' a writer explains that even a story's terrible ending is not final--the characters could still change. This possibility of hope permeates all Paley's stories, creating a rich treasury of unexpected pleasures and revealing truths. Essential.-- Patricia Ross, Westerville P.L., Ohio