Sampiero served as the director of literature for Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes from 1989 to 1992 and won the Premio Casa de las Am?ricas in 1977 for his book Medio ambiente (Environment, Corunda, 1994). In this collection of 26 short stories, he offers contemporay tales with no creative boundaries. Throughout, Samperio imaginatively relays his perceptions of life's dichotomies as well as his philosophy of time, as in "Descomponga un reloj" ("Breaking Down a Watch"), a story of an imaginary club whose members ignore time as marked by the clock. Though he uses a great variety of subject matter from a day that didn't exist, to a letter to Julio Cort zar, to the anthropomorphizing of clothes hangers each story possesses an equal richness in narrative. Further, his clever aphorisms for sex and engagement rings, which he calls the "circle of compromise," will amuse. The author also manages to toss in a children's story about the world of toys. Following the advice of the German writer Walter Benjamin, he writes about all experiences, travels, and dreams long after the actual experience in order to see them in a broader context. Recommended for bookstores that serve adventurous short story readers and for academic libraries. Ninfa A. Trejo, Univ. of Arizona Lib., Tucson Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.