This successor to Phillips’s successful 1989 collection, The Triumph of the Night, likewise fulfills critic Edmund Wilson’s prescription for an anthology offering “stories by really first-rate modern writers” that favor psychological nuance over Gothic paraphernalia. Its 27 selections generally serve said-purpose well, though many (by James, Kipling, Wharton, Dinesen, Crawford, et al.) are easily available elsewhere. Readers should, however, appreciate finding lesser-known stories by Gabriel Garc°a M†rquez and Muriel Spark, among a number of gems. Others: Elizabeth Spencer’s limpid, economical “Owl”; Joan Aiken’s serenely loopy “Sonata for Harp & Bicycle”; and Christopher Tilghman’s “A Gentle Rain,” a moving analogue to his complex stories of family interrelationship and crisis. For such, this is a useful collection; but aficionados may find they already own nearly half of its contents.