In these fifteen superb stories, this essential author of African American fiction gives us compelling portraits of a wide range of unforgettable characters, from sassy children to cunning old men, in scenes shifting between uptown New York and rural North Carolina. A young girl suffers her first betrayal. A widow flirts with an elderly blind man against the wishes of her grown-up children. A neighborhood loan shark teaches a white social worker a lesson in responsibility. And there is more. Sharing the world of Toni Cade Bambara's "e;straight-up fiction"e; is a stunning experience.