Best of Times, Worst of Times

America’sfirst Gilded Age produced Mark Twain, Henry James, Willa Cather, and a flock ofother notables. Will our current climate of economic imbalance, ruinousvanity, joyous nihilism, and wild-eyed millennialism produce a similar wealthof literary talent? Only posterity can say for sure. But this volumeof stories from such luminaries as Junot Diaz, Bobbie Ann Mason, and WalterMosley sets the bar admirably high.