This volume combines three prior, now out of print, collections of Calisher short stories (In the Absence of Angels, Tales of the Mirror and Extreme Magic), including those centered around the Hester and Kinny Elkin family, which first appeared in The New Yorker. Most of these 36 pieces are solidly, even ardently, attached to Miss Calisher's special locale since "sooner or later. . . you'll see almost everything in New York [and] have almost every lousy kind of feeling too." Of course the Hester stories are quasi-autobiography--those generational tales, all in a German Jewish setting, of Grandmother's decline, Mother's overrefined "sense of gentility," Father's insistence on enjoying life--but there are many others in a similarly bourgeois setting where the Sunday family dinner describes the center of the universe. "Summer Rebellion," the one new story, moves as far away as the New Hampshire backwoods where a dirt-poor boy organizes a pitiful pitch-fork army against the "summer people" who've insulted his folks and their way of living. The pride her characters take in their roots is as essential a theme as the moment of triumphant insight that so neatly rounds off Calisher's crafted tales of very real people.