I now know why I never encountered Jean Stafford's short stories in high school and college - they are not compelling, interesting or memorable, and they conclude abruptly leaving me wondering what the point of the story was. They are dark stories, thick with words requiring a dictionary and no dialog. She seems stuck on tuberculosis - characters either have it, act like they have it, look like they have it or know someone who has it. I wish I could be more positive, but this was a long slog of a read - I finished all of the stories only because I hoped the next one would be better.