There’s a precision and specificity to Helen DeWitt’s writing that I find utterly charming and disarming. If you like getting your toes wet before jumping in the deep end with a novel, these stories are an excellent intro to her writing.
Many of the stories seem to focus on the difficulty of dealing with the world when you care about things that most people don’t care about that much. Like precision in language or hearing foreign language books read by native speakers who also need to have an aesthetically appropriate name. (“Entourage” is a pretty searing indictment of billionaires.)
“My Heart Belongs to Bertie”, “Brutto”, “Improvisation is the Heart of Music” were three that I especially liked.