In three or four of the last stories here you will recognize the Sue Kaufman of her most successful books of not quite mad housewives and headshrinkers and precarious falling bodies--so easy to identify and identify with (namely ""Icarus,"" and ""The Perfect Day"" which isn't, or that analytic inevitability--the summer vacation en famille for the month of August in Truro). But it's much harder to get a purchase on the majority of the pieces in this collection: a young girl who's a ""Summer Librarian"" in an abandoned institution except for the boy of seventeen who provokes responses in her he shouldn't; or the patient, ""deferent"" teacher reading over the heads of his students ""Under the Trees""; or the obligatory Christmas vacation at home for a college girl with expendable parents; or the ""Accomplice,"" a rather uncomfortable witness to a rich, cruel, aimless young woman's messy life in Paris. In the title story ""The Master,"" Picasso makes a brief appearance in a museum where a would-be-young painter, always self-deprecating, will be left unnoticed once again. This story of the tentative young man whose stance is one of avoidance is symptomatic of many of the stories here. However pleasantly and truthfully observed, they, somehow invite anonymity if only because people of this kind usually do.