To select and connect the individual works of sixteen writers proved a task full of unsuspected obstacles. I am therefore very grateful to all who helped me.
My first thanks go to the authors of the stories, whose approval and enthusiasm made it possible. Some were dear friends to start with; some, excitingly, became new friends.
I owe a lot to Jane Arms in Australia, whose editing and constant encouragement were invaluable, and also to her husband, the author Brian Matthews.
Here in the UK I must thank my old friends: Beryl Bainbridge for her comments, not always flattering but always very discerning; Alicia Arendar for sorting out some tricky Spanish American terms; dear colleagues: Carole Gill and Evi Fishburne for their advice; A. Duttmann for enlightening me over a quotation from Heidegger; Dani Gutfreund for her help in Brazilian Portuguese; and Clare James who so patiently interpreted my handwriting.