'The Collect Stories' by Grace Paley
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The Collected Stories
By Grace Paley

I love short stories; I used to spend a lot of time on the subway in New York, and you can read several stories on a trip uptown. Paley's writing speaks to me. I'll always remember these lines from the story "Wants": "I saw my ex-husband in the street. I was sitting on the steps of the new library. 'Hello, my life,' I said."

In two and a half pages, she gives this character's whole experience. Even the stories' titles are magnificent, like "An Irrevocable Diameter." You think, "What's that about?"

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