Set largely in locations along the French Riviera, these eleven short stories depict with great compassion the harsh realities of life for the less-privileged inhabitants of this privileged region. Distinguished French writer J.M.G. Le Clézio lends his voice to the dispossessed and explores his familiar themes of alienation, immigration, poverty, violence, indifference, and the loss of beauty and innocence. In one story a young woman encounters the violence of a gang of masked bikers in a harsh and desolate housing project; in another a man stands by helplessly as a place of great beauty and of deep childhood memory is slowly consumed and destroyed by a quickly-developing city, an illegal immigrant man desperate for work finds himself a prisoner of those who have promised to help him, and two girls risk everything by running away from home and their dead-end factory jobs for a misguided trip. At once tragic and evocative, these engrossing and beautifully crafted stories touch upon the loss of human values in a rapidly changing world.