Readers of The Georgia Review will recognize this splendid selection of short stories, culled from 40 years of the Review's continuous publication, as a reprint of the Spring '86 retrospective issue. Those who haven't had the good sense to subscribe will see what they've been missing--a superbly edited literary quarterly that has published, and continues to publish, some of the very best in American short fiction. These 33 stories, chosen from the nearly four hundred published in the Review, represent no particular period or school in story writing, though there's a welcome editorial bias towards fiction with a strong sense of history and place. And the place is often the South, a region that speaks here in many voices--there's the master himself, William Faulkner, whose ""Portrait of Elmer"" (written in the 30's, first published in the 70's) sets a standard met time and again in these pages by such well-known writers as Harriette Arnow and Ernest J. Gaines; by the less known but equally accomplished such as Fred Chappell and Jack Matthews; and by a few who were little celebrated when their stories first appeared in the Review: George Garrett and Harry Crews. The Review published the early work of some young Southerners who've since lived up to their initial promise--Mary Hood, Pam Durban, and Leigh Wilson. But the best indication of the magazine's, and this anthology's, editorial spirit is the obvious commitment to superior fiction, regardless of region (H.E. Francis's ""Her"" and David Wagoner's ""Wild Goose Chase"") or reputation--three of the most unforgettable stories reprinted here are by unknowns who've published little since: James Lewis MacLeod (""The Jesus Flag""), Judith Hoover (""Proteus""), and Walter S. Terry (""The Bottomless Well""). If you want to know why the American Society of Magazine Editors gave this year's award for fiction to The Georgia Review instead of Esquire or The Atlantic, then buy this anthology. You'll wonder what took them so long to notice.