These thirty-four short stories, selected from The Transatlantic Review of the past ten years, include works by the well-known (V. S. Pritchett, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates) and by authors who have received critical attention if not popular acclaim. Together they provide a generous collection of undeniably good writing, and even, here and there, the flawless short story, such as Shirley Schoonover's ""The Star Blanket,"" where the visible world of the sheepherder holds magical dimensions for his teen-age wife, a seduction brutally punished. Updike, characteristically clever, borders on the slick in his contribution ""During the Jurassic""--a prehistoric animal farm where characters participate in a worn dialectic of cocktail party ennui. Hugh Allyn Hunt and Edward Franklin offer individual accounts of pubescent Penrods, traditionally tragi-comic and just a little predictable. Miss Oates' ""Dying"" exposes an agonized friendship, paralyzed in approach-avoidance mechanisms as frustrating as the mating pattern of the Laysan albatross, With such different languages and techniques, most of the stories can be generalized only in that they investigate the commonplace, and where they do not transfigure it, they manage the mood sketch or the tricky ending. It's a substantial anthology for those who don't read the little magazines but wish they did.