A former resident of Fort Wayne, Indi ana, Martone (Briggs-Copeland lecturer in fiction, Harvard) offers reflective and humanist ideas that show modern writing at its best. Martone mixes fact with fic tion, the famous with the not-so-famous, ultimately making readers feel that the narrator is speaking personally to them. In ``Everybody Watching and the Time Passing Like That,'' one of the 17 selec tions presented, the reader identifies with the speech coach, Mrs. Nall, whose claim to fame was to coach the actor James Dean. His influence after death is appar ent as she states, ``I watch the film and he talks to me, talks to me directly. I have it all here.'' In this engaging collection of realistic stories, the hidden depth of the country's heartland is revealed. Expect wide readership among public libraries, especially in the Midwest.--Vicki Cecil, Johnson Cty. P.L., Greenwood, Ind.