Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

...Early versions of these stories appear in the following periodicals: “This Way, Uncle, into the Palace” in The Missouri Review; “Monsieur le Genius” in...

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1. This Way, Uncle, Into the Palace

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pp. 1-32

...talk, used an American expression I had never heard before, and after his wife explained it to me in laborious detail I briefly fell deaf. This was at our annual family picnic in Fresno, under a shade tree. When my hearing disappeared I pretended nothing had happened: for months now, whenever...

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2. Monsieur le Genius

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pp. 33-59

...Village model: the shelves were full, but only because the rest of the city got the bare bones. In actual fact you could walk through the most desolate neighborhoods and still find vegetable hawkers setting up shop in the alleyways, and lines of gleaming white Mercedes streamed into the...

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3. Won't You Stay, Please?

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pp. 60-92

...tiny Bujumbura International, with only a handful of people waiting for the arrivals, Neil assumed that the African walking toward him was meeting someone else. The man was short and bug-eyed, with a small, rounded chin and an enormous forehead etched with deep scowl lines. He was not smiling...

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4. Hey

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pp. 93-113

...Vietnam—he was going to be an infantryman in the Delta, a radio operator—I was at nineteen given to understand that people from families such as my own invariably came to a mean and wasteful end. It was January of 1969, a Thursday, and I was poring over chess books, in preparation for the upcoming Washington State Chess Championship. Just...

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5. What's Yours, What's Mine

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pp. 114-166

...what Thomas’s letter called the group—had been planned for that June, on the east coast of Malaysia, and Maureen was just now hearing about it. Rueben had held on to the letter for a couple of days, checking flight schedules and costs, then poured them some wine at dinner. A reunion, he said out of the blue: wouldn’t that be something...

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