Pulitzer Prize-winning author Peter Taylor uses remarkable events in ordinary people's lives to describe an intricate fabric of tradition. In these four subtle and beautiful stories, a contractor uses a baptismal font as a birdbath, an annual children's party given by an aging brother and sister ends in disaster, a strange woman needlessly sends two men into a burning house, and a woman finds a way to express her frustration. In addition to the title story, the collection contains "Venus, Folly, Cupid and Time" (winner of the 1959 O. Henry Award), "Two Pilgrims", and "Her Need".
"Quite simply, there is not a better writer of fiction now at work in the United States." (The Washington Post)
"Don't read him because you ought to: try Taylor because he's irresistibly beguiling...." (Newsweek)