A compelling collection of short stories exploring adolescent desire, love, friendship and fatherhood - moving across this powerful emotional ground with subtlety and incisiveness. Written with wryness, whimsy, and intellectual depth, this is a collection of eleven wonderful stories of growing up and growing wise. In 'S Angel' a group of wedding guests is hijacked by a fast-talking real estate agent, but not before the bride herself disappears. 'Smoke' takes us to a baseball catcher's funeral, where one of the mourners - a has-been pitcher - confronts the ruins of his career. In the hilarious title story, a graduate student plagiarizes a dissertation on the movement of clouds, only to find himself and his faculty advisor in a parlour game where each player must confess the worst thing he or she has ever done. The second part of the book 'The Lost World' is a series of stories about a young boy, Nathan Shapiro, who must face the wrenching emotions caused by his parents' bitter divorce. Serious, yet shot through with wit, humour and compassion, these are unforgettable stories from one of America's most celebrated writers.