Listening to Grace Paley read her own short stories in Selected Stories is very special, and to have six hours of her rough-edged, New York-toughened, oddly tender voice is a true delight. Even more of a delight are the stories, a genre unto themselves, taken from her three collections, The Little Disturbances of Man, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute and Later the Same Day. Paley, whose humor glows even in the gloom, grows with her characters, or maybe it's the other way around; you don't feel that she's observing, rather that she's in the heart and soul of the men and women she's created. If their world seems alien and eccentric, the geography of their emotions soon becomes understandable, appealing, cosmically creditable.

Reviewed by Sukey Howard.

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