These stories, ten in all, take place in Ireland, New York City and Washington, D.C., and Virginia, Texas, and Colorado. The characters represent the various stages of man—from boyhood and youth to the first precincts of old age. John Lionel, who appeared in four stories collected in Julian Mazor's earlier volume, Washington and Baltimore, appears here in four more, chronicling his growing up in Washington.
With a finely tuned ear for speech, the author conveys a vivid sense of place and of the spirit of the times. As he portrays a young boy in trouble, an adolescent in love (mired in self-doubt and imminent heartbreak), a Texas high-school football player, a man on the verge of marriage and one on the verge of divorce, a middle-aged writer struggling to understand his life, and an older man in the sorrowful and complicated throes of marriage to a younger woman, Mazor writes with compassion, irony, and humor, and with a clear-eyed affection for each of these individuals. In his telling, their stories become works of art.
"Mazor presents an entertaining take on the battle of the sexes." —Publishers Weekly
"It is a pleasure to watch Julian Mazor at his work…His style is so transparent that you are unconscious he has one; his words simply go about their business, without fuss or waste or ambiguity…His stories are honest, and his accomplishment impressive." —Geoffrey Wolff, Washington Post
"He can write; his prose says simply that he cares about people, places, things." —New York Times Book Review
"[Mazor's] stories unashamedly convey life's ironies and ambiguities…Apparently it is still possible for a writer to shun himself, shun all sorts of tricks and stunts and ruses, work hard and delicately with his characters, and speak warmly, softly and suggestively." —Robert Coles
"The verity of his writing is a pleasure." —Marianne Moore
Julian Mazor was born in Baltimore and grew up in Washington, D.C. His stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Shenandoah, and the O'Henry Prize collection series. Washington and Baltimore, his earlier collection of stories, was published in 1968.