It has been ten years since Malamud's last story-collection--and here, instead of a brand-new batch of tales, is an agreeable enough substitute: the author's own choice of 25 stories, almost all of them from his previously published collections. (The National Book Award-winner The Magic Barrel, 1958; Idiots First, 1963; and Rembrandt's Hat, 1973.) Among them: the title stories from all three collections and the famous "Angel Levine." Plus, an uncollected story from 1972: "God's Wrath"--a brief, painful tale about a retired synagogue sexton whose youngest daughter, the product of a second marriage, becomes a prostitute. ("The sexton follows her. . . . She knows he is there. He waits. He counts the number of her performances. He punishes by his presence. He calls down God's wrath on the prostitute and her blind father.") A solid sampling of Malamud's short-story art, with a short author's introduction--the same piece that recently appeared in the New York Times Book Review.