Bookends: Apr. 14, 1986

TRANSACTIONS IN A FOREIGN

CURRENCY by Deborah Eisenberg

Knopf; 214 pages; $15.95

An eon from now, literary anthropologists will be able to reconstruct a state of mind, circa 1986, from the bones and shards in this distinctive collection. The stories are all in the first person, but each one presents a new character. An afflicted 15-year-old girl becomes involved with a 27-year-old man of ambiguous sexuality; an older woman, teetering on the edge of a breakdown, decides to jog instead of swim because "not only is running not cold, but I won't drown if I should stop suddenly"; another woman, traveling...

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