Five by Jean Stafford, four by John Cheever, and three by Daniel Fuchs and William Maxwell present four contemporary writers of particular distinction in this medium. Jean Stafford's bleak The Liberation- a girl's attempt to escape an old house and an aging aunt and uncle- is offset by her gamin Bad Characters in a Colorado childhood episode. John Cheever ruefully examines recognizable lives in The Country Husband who finds that his life within a specious, social pattern has closed in on him--in The Day The Pig Fell Into the Well- a memory of a casual, convivial summer which alone endures after the later years bring disillusion and disintegration for a family. Daniel Fuchs' two Southern California vignettes of lives nagged by marital misgivings and economic uncertainty have an even sharper edge. And William Maxwell's stories of a boy's first exposure to a harsh adult truth, of a man's indefinable fear are gently effective... A happy collaboration of talent for fastidious tastes.