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Elizabeth Hardwick was one of Americas great postwar women of letters, celebrated as a novelist and as an essayist. Until now, however, her slim but remarkable achievement as a writer of short stories has remained largely hidden, with her work tucked away in the pages of the periodicalssuch as Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and The New York Review of Booksin which it originally appeared. This first collection of Hardwicks short fiction reveals her brilliance as a stylist and as an observer of contemporary life. A young woman returns from New York to her childhood Kentucky home and discovers the world of difference within her. A girls boyfriend is not quite good enough, his silvery eyes, light and cool, revealing nothing except pure possibility, like a coin in hand. A magazine editors life falls strangely to pieces after she loses both her husband and her job. Individual lives and the life of New York, the setting or backdrop for most of these stories, are strikingly and memorably depicted in Hardwicks beautiful and razor-sharp prose.