Twelve stories by Puerto Rican writers home-based either on the island or in Spanish Harlem's barrio--but so wretchedly packaged and translated (luckily the Spanish is interleaved) that you come away with little more than a jumbled hint of what these writers are getting at, and how. The expressionistic work of Emilio S. Belaval (1903-72) elbows to the fore; his tales of poor villages and outsized emotional displays is reminiscent of Verga's Sicilian stories. RenÃ‰ MarquÃ‰s mixes strains of patrician Spanish decorum with mythic, Indian landlove. But other pieces, by Pedro Juan Soto, JosÃ‰ Luis GonzÃ¡lez, and Emilio Diaz ValcÃ¡rcel, are all but hidden behind inadequate, confusing, and homogenizing English renditions. A sloppy collection, whose merits are strictly catch-as-catch-can.