â€śExtraordinary for its craft and emotional effect . . . [Ethan Canin is] a writer of enormous talent and charm.â€ťâ€“The Washington Postâ€śCharacter is destiny,â€ť wrote Heraclitusâ€“and in this collection of four unforgettable stories, we meet people struggling to understand themselves and the unexpected turns their lives have taken. In â€śAccountant,â€ť a quintessential company man becomes obsessed with the phenomenal success of a reckless childhood friend. â€śBatorsag and Szerelemâ€ť tells the story of a boyâ€™s fascination with the mysterious life and invented language of his brother, a math prodigy. In â€śCity of Broken Hearts,â€ť a divorced father tries to fathom the patterns of modern relationships. And in â€śThe Palace Thief,â€ť a history teacher at an exclusive boarding school reflects on the vicissitudes of a lifetime connection with a student scoundrel. A remarkable achievement by one of Americaâ€™s finest writers, this brilliant volume reveals the moments of insight that illuminate everyday lives.â€śCaptivating . . . a heartening tribute to the form . . . an exquisite performance.â€ťâ€“The Boston Sunday Globeâ€śA model of wit, wisdom, and empathy. Chekhov would have appreciated its frank renderings and quirky ironies.â€ťâ€“Chicago TribuneFrom the Trade Paperback edition.