David Sedaris, that satiric genius and arch arbiter of the absurd, takes on a new role as editor and introducer (a riff on personal taste, lost and found) of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules, a collection of short stories published to help support a non-profit tutoring center. Some of the stories are classic, some are by authors you might have missed and all are works that Sedaris, a self-described pint-sized fanatic, would defend to the death. Included are five unabridged short stories by Patricia Highsmith, Tobias Wolff, Charles Baxter, Amy Hemple and Akhil Sharma, each read by an accomplished actor, Sedaris among them. He hopes they'll make you see the world in different ways and, perhaps, echo him in saying, look at what these people have managed to do.

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