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The very best short stories and novellas from National Public Radio’s Alan Cheuse are brought together in a quintessential collection. Countless listeners depend on the book reviews from Cheuse, America’s “voice of books,” and many of those listeners also follow his own critically acclaimed fiction and nonfiction. The title story — a flash fiction piece that acts as both prologue and an intriguing look at a writer’s inspiration — takes us through a child’s eyes into a fantastic land, one that informs, shapes, and travels along with the other stories in this stunning collection. These stories deal with life, death, love, family, work, and a deep exploration of the soul.


“Cheuse’s sinuously versatile new collection iseerie, funny, and moving”

—Jennifer Egan (author of A Visit from the Goon Squad)

“These stories cross borders of place and time, but no matter where they lead, the location is a lucid, tangible present. As travelers go, Cheuse, a humanist, is too at home in the world to mine the exotic; but as stylists go, the artful cadence of his prose and the intense focus of each story belongs to a tradition that runs from Hemingway and Dos Passos through Paul Bowles.”

—Stuart Dybek (author of I Sailed with Magellan)