Cover

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pp. 1-11

Contents

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pp. xi-13

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Dinosaurs

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pp. 1-29

The birth of the solar system, the demise of the dinosaurs, the melting of the polar ice caps: haunting cosmic mysteries emerged from my grandfather Zolly's mouth in a tone of grave wonderment. In the early fifties, when I was in the second grade,...

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Hearts & Minds

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pp. 31-67

When I was nineteen my father went out for a pack of smokes and never came back. My mother and I were in the dining room, sitting around the walnut drop-leaf table on what would have been my sister Dinah's sixteenth birthday. We were watching a news...

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Home Burial

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pp. 69-90

For weeks I imagined I could see him coming off the plane, carrying souvenirs. In my mind he looked the same as the day he left—broad-shouldered, trim, deeply tanned. The picture of him they printed in the newspaper, one of those sawtooth-edged Brownie snapshots that always...

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Leisure World

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pp. 91-117

From what Judah Landau could see, there was only one dish of charlotte russe left in the revolving pie carousel. Tracking it, he swept a saucer of marmalade aside. "In my opinion/' he said, jabbing his curved thumb in his chest, "Florida's going to the dogs. Every snowbird in Sheepshead...

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Promised Land

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pp. 119-152

For months now I'd been having my doubts about Charley's plan to move to Florida. He was seventy-five, and in poor health. Zandy, my wife, was losing patience with both of us. "You don't even notice the changes in him," she said to me with accumulated irritability...

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The Quarry

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pp. 153-263

The forbidden quarry was no more than a brisk two- or three-mile walk beyond the dusty apple orchard in back of the local chapter of the Monroe County Elks Club. Although our mothers warned us not to, my friends and I ate the mealy green and yellow apples off the ground and then chucked the wormy...