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The An­gel Es­mer­alda: Nine Sto­ries Don Delillo, Pi­cador, $29.99 Delillo has long been one of the great­est of Amer­i­can con­tem­po­rary writ­ers. This col­lec­tion of nine short sto­ries spans five decades of his ca­reer, and if such a struc­ture sug­gests less am­bi­tion than his longer works, Delillo still has much to of­fer. These are smaller, more per­sonal tales of some­times frac­tured lives. In The An­gel Es­mer­alda there is the old nun work­ing in the rough­est part of town try­ing to save a 12-year-old, while Mid­night in Dos­teovsky is a weird lit­tle fa­ble of two young men who con­struct a fan­tasy life for the phi­los­o­phy pro­fes­sor. Short story col­lec­tions can be vari­able, but the qual­ity of Delillo’s writ­ing en­sures there is some­thing of in­ter­est on each page. Michael Mcguire ½

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