These terse, well written short stories deal primarily with lonely people in alien situations or countries. Many of the characters are British who have jobs, or study, in Poland or South America where they are trying hopelessly to maintain old standards in the midst of totally non-understood problems. The Englishwoman, married to a philandering Polish peasant in South America, but still constantly referring to her middle class English life, is painfully typical as is another middle class girl, living in miserable circumstances with an painter, obscurely shut off from the life she wants. There is also a splendid tale about an elderly expatriate Polish nobleman, at his rope's end, who accidentally acquires a small fortune in cocaine but is unable to sell it and throws it away; sick, devastated, he is at last comforted by a poor mulatto girl. The plots are difficult to summarize since they involve highly complex situations which the stories, clean as a knife, lay bare, revealing the lives within and the endless nuances which surround them. This economy is exhilarating and the stories have an unsentimental strength and interest although their subject matter may be a popularly limiting factor.