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The stories in this collection are unmistakably by Edith Pearlman; whole lives in ten pages. They are minutely observant of people – of their foibles and failings, but also of their moments of kindness and truth. Whether the characters are Somalian women who’ve suffered circumcision, a special child with pentachromatic vision or a staid professor of Latin unsettled by a random invitation to lecture on the mystery of life and death, Pearlman knows each of them intimately and reveals them with generosity.