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What we liked best: short stories and essays

Of the short story and essay collections reviewed in the Monitor in 2007, these received top marks.

Shakespeare's Kitchen,by Lore Segal (The New Press, 225pp., $22.95)

Lore Segal's genius for observation dazzles in this collection of 13 interlinked stories about a woman who leaves New York to take a job at a Connecticut think tank.(4/10/07)

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Cheating at Canasta,by William Trevor (Viking, 232 pp., $24.95)

Subtlety and consolatory grace are once again the hallmarks in this, Trevor's 12th short story collection in 40 years. (10/23/07)

At Large,by Anne Fadiman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 220 pp., $22)

Head and heart combine delightfully in this collection of essays, almost all written by Fadiman for The American Scholar while she was editor there from 1997 to 2004. (7/3/07)