The literary magazine American Review (a.k.a. New American Review), which lasted for 26 issues, was unremarkable in its poetry and its essays. But Solotaroff was (and is) a gifted fiction editor, and fiction was the magazine's beacon--with an eclectic excellence that is fully reflected in this fine anthology. Harold Brodkey's ""Innocence"" is a dazzling stand-out: the most specific imaginable granulation and re-synthesis of sex-as-transfiguration. So, too, is Gilbert Sorrentino's sentimental yet astonishingly immediate story of past love as myth, ""The Moon In Its Flight."" And other pieces have proven to be of lasting importance: William Gass' remarkable sentence-building (""In The Heart of the Heart of the Country""); Philip Roth's balletic leap, with Kafka as a refugee Newark Hebrew teacher (""I Always Wanted You To Admire My Fasting""); Max Apple's pop-art-with-warmth, ""The Oranging of America""; Grace Paley's exhilaratingly messy stylistics in ""Faith In A Tree."" (More surprising winners: George Dennison's luminous ""A Talc of Pierrot"" and Anne Higgins' irresistibly ironic ""In Search of a Missing IUD."") There are poor relations here, too, of course: so-so work by Robert Stone, John Hawkes, M. E Beal, Ian McEwan, Vasily Askenov, J. E Powers. Yet, overall, the quality is high indeed, the general tone tending toward virtuoso, self-contained performances. And Solotaroff's bracing catholicity of taste is perhaps the most impressive contribution of all to this rich, challenging collection.