The fourteen stories in Heiberg's Twitch were not selected for their resemblance to one another, but for their differences in character, tone, and form. The aim is to deploy imagination and invention to furnish tales about the variety of human conditions, the scope of thought, the diversity of experience. Settings range from a Scandinavian island to ancient Chinese courts, from the streets of Hyde Park in Boston to the galleries of midtown Manhattan, from Southern California to Eastern Europe, from Africa to South America-in one story, both continents at once. The stories are populated by schoolboys and poets, dictators and delinquents, college girls and composers, businessmen and scientists. Each tale conjures its own world, has its own language, aims to illuminate a distinct experience, a unique situation. Like human life, the stories in Heiberg's Twitch are comic, sad, pathetic, perplexing, and tragic.