In Curt Leviant’s wry, funny tales of love and desire set in various locales—the deep South, Boston, New York, Italy, Israel—the protagonists are men, women, guys and gals of various backgrounds and ages. Some are teenagers; others are students, writers, salesmen, teachers; there’s even a great-grandfather in the mix. We meet Holocaust survivors, a pretty petty thief, a playwright, students on vacation, a Polish gentile woman in love with Jewish history, a non-Jewish Holocaust historian, a book salesman, a Yiddish artist, a synagogue architect, a secretary at Harvard, and other delectable characters.What unites all these disparate people is the universal desire for love and affection—some claw, some snag, others just wait. And some even succeed. Leviant’s newest collection stands alongside his substantial oeuvre in the vein of Bellow, Singer, Kafka—a place they’re likely to remain for a long, long time.