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by William Faulkner
In the context of a government of men, Cercas suggests, real and durable greatness is marked by compromises, trade-offs, disappointments, and missed opportunities, rather than their absence. Not to give away the ending, but maybe politics is more like real life than we'd like to imagine.
This collection knocked me out because the stories are quiet and understated and lucid and gather up their power almost without the reader realizing it, then they break your heart, just like that.