The opening story, The Wooden Madonna, follows a fledgling playwright who is travelling to glean ideas for stories (eventually for a novel). Beleagued at each stop by strangers eager for his companionship, he struggles to break contact. Enjoy the twist at the end as he mellows and then becomes disillusioned. But, at least he should have the crux of a story. In his introduction to Seven Stories, a more recent selection of stories, the author tells us that he loves dearly Aunt Tittie while he detests Mrs. Radcliffe. You will probably come to the same conclusion after reading them. In What Mad Pursuit? we follow an author on a lecture tour during which he is sidetracked through countless libations, soirées and drunken wanderings: a scathing portrayal of suburbanite New Yorkers. The remaining stories, Travellers Joy, Cheap Excursion, and Nature Study deal with romance, love, and marriage: all somewhat tragically.