This is a really excellent book and should please anyone who likes short story collections and especially fiction from The New Yorker. Although I quibbled with the inclusion of certain stories and didn't like every one, it's hard for me to imagine a much better, broader, or satisfying range of stories on love than the one displayed in this volume. The book mixes many respected and famous authors with less established, newer ones, and I honestly can't say that the stories by either set of authors are better than the others.
My three favorite stories were Gabriel Garcia Marquez's classic "Eyes of a Blue Dog," John Cheever's previously anthologized "Marito in Citta," and Alice Munro's recent "The Jack Randa Hotel." Each of these stories, like most of the best stories in this book, works so well because it conveys the intensity and idealism and adventure of love but is also grounded in the concrete, mundane details of everyday life. Other standouts include Alice Elliott Dark's recent but already classic "In the Gloaming," Katherine Keiny's charming, Jane Austenish "How to Give the Wrong Impression," R. Prawer Jhabvala's culture-clashing "The Man with the Dog," Bobbie Ann Mason's hilarious and moving "Love Life," John O'Hara's piercing "How Old, How Young," Raymond Carver's Edgar Allan Poe-imitating "Blackbird Pie," and Mary Grimm's probing "We."
As the editor, Roger Angell, and other reviewers here have noted, the book is not all full of happy endings and is not even always about passionate love affairs per se, but the broad theme of love is the perfect motif to carry along a short fiction anthology, and this theme keeps you moving through the stories just as love in real life keeps you moving through the everyday ups and downs of being with a romantic partner. One of the best short story anthologies I've read in a while.