Thirty-five short fictions by the author of The Golden Notebook: principally the entire contents of The Temptation of Jack Orkney and Other Stories (1972) and A Man and Two Women (1963). Though Lessing's taste for marbling emotions with sinewy intellectual give-and-take is probably best served by longer forms--the many knots can then be loosely tied--these stories manage to reflect her characteristic style (intense but deadpan) and her range of interests: male-female relationships, political commitments (socialist, Communist), everyday life in London, personal growth, sexuality, and the borders of madness-occult-or-fantasy. Along with the thoroughly expected person-to-person vignettes, here also are spurts of socioscience fiction, some (unimpressively) lyrical nature musings, and a few colonial-Africa tales. The vast bulk of Lessing's Africa stories (she grew up there) are not included, however. Nor is there any introductory or annotating material. An appropriately austere package for the only very occasionally sentimental Mrs. Lessing.