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Unbearable lightness of being

Known best for big novels that soar amid cultural shifts, DeLillo’s stories dart in and around individual lives

By Richard Eder
November 27, 2011
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Don DeLillo is chiefly known by his big novels of public life and the polluted underground streams that contaminate it. “Libra’’ treats of the Kennedy assassination and the conspiracy theories that swirl around it; “White Noise,’’ shorter but more lustrous, of the nuclear menace. Now, with the publication of nine short stories that have appeared, largely unremarked, over the past 35 years, another facet of DeLillo is revealed. They gleam among the remarkable but often ponderous bigger works; they are larks flying among powerful birds of prey.

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THE ANGEL ESMERALDA: Nine Stories By Don DeLillo

Scribner, 213 pp., $24