Short stories by the author of Middlesex and The marriage plot. An old woman, in the end, may lose herself in the snow; a young man, traveling in Southeast Asia and trying to starve the amoebas out of his gut, may drift out to sea. In other stories, the protagonists loses his clavichord, another his marriage, a third his cushy job. There aren’t a lot of happy endings here but aside from the really bad “The oracular vulva,” there’s much to enjoy here. 285 pp.