Two novellas and three short stories by the author of Blue Hill Avenue. In Dorchester, Home and Garden, Mirsky gives a mystic, holistic turn to the fears and memories of a Jewish son revisiting the home soil--a decaying neighborhood which has become threatening and alien. He seems to whirl with just one toe on the realities of the crime-rife Boston suburb, imagining fantastic flights--from his own feverish night levitations to the parallel vision of a zoo ibex (another anachronism) attempting to escape the flashing knives of young children. It's a rich combination of blinking insights, satirical commentary and inventive movement conjured up from old ghosts, old graves, in a present of sadness and terror. But Onan's Child, based on the Biblical tale of Jacob's son who ""spilled his seed"" to corrupt the earth, is a glut of incantations--a desert of symbolic sand devils, with mythic Presences and oozing genitalia. In this high-pitched effort to fuse fertility-cult myths with ancient Hebraic chronicles, the Bible tale may be only dimly seen. The short stories are moving, delicately efficient, superb. Mixed blessings but undeniably arresting.