While searching for texts for a class I teach called International Short Stories, I came across and ordered this book, along with two others, on the basis of stories and writers in this book I knew I wanted to use. I got far more than I expected. This book is proof that an editor can make an incredible difference. Rather than select obvious stories, ones continually anthologized, John Loughery has chosen stories for their ability to startle a reader with subject matter, approach, and excellence of writing. I found stories here which left me refreshed simply because they were the stories I hoped were out there. Beautiful story-telling, challenging ideas, brightness everywhere. I would recommend this book to any reader, but would especially draw the attention of teachers of courses like International Short Story, or general fiction appreciation courses. It doesn't leave you complacent.