Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Miller demonstrates his mastery of literary realism?of the psychological and moral conflicts of flesh-and-blood characters rooted in their milieu?in his second collection of short fiction. The eponymous novella is new to print; a second novella, as well as the other selection, a short story, date from the 1960s. "Homely Girl, A Life" follows protagonist Janice Sessions from 1937 to the late 1970s, charting her struggle to wrestle free from her Manhattan bookdealer husband, Sam Fink, a Communist Party activist whose unquestioning Stalinist faith she ultimately rejects. Told by her mother that she is physically unattractive, Janice rejects what she considers her parents' bourgeois materialism, but she discovers a sense of identity and freedom only after she divorces Sam and moves in with a blind classical musician. In "Fame," which is little more than an anecdote, a wealthy and acclaimed Broadway playwright runs into a former high-school classmate in a bar?an encounter that reveals celebrity as a gilded cage in which ordinary human contact is impossible. In the much more substantial "Fitter's Night," ex-gangster Tony Calabrese, now a shipfitter in Brooklyn's naval yard during WWII, is in his 40s, locked in an angry marriage to a woman "he had never seen... naked, which was as it should be." Though a philanderer and a loser, Tony, undertaking a hazardous emergency repair on a damaged destroyer, manages to redeem himself for one shining moment.