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The thrilling woes of that thing called 'love story'

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Although some of Eugenides's featured writers – Harold Brodkey, Mary Robison, Vladimir Nabokov, William Trevor – also appear in Roger Angell's 1997 anthology of love stories from The New Yorker, "Nothing But You," there is, remarkably, no duplication of stories. Eugenides's collection tucks many old favorites together between covers for the first time.

What a treat to reread William Faulkner's Gothic tale of perverse attachment, "A Rose for Emily." Or Bernard Malamud's beguilingly cagey give-and-take between a young rabbi and his matchmaker in "The Magic Barrel." Anton Chekhov's "The Lady with a Little Dog," one of the best stories ever written about how even illicit, initially cavalier, love gets under your skin, is another welcome classic. My only complaint is that the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, responsible for the acclaimed new translation of Tolstoy's "War and Peace," replaces the familiar pampered "Lapdog" of the title with the more literal but less resonant "Little Dog."

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