Pulse: 60-Second Critic: Short Stories: The Family Diamond

The Family Diamond
By Edward Schwarzschild (Algonquin Books; $13.95)

The concept isn’t groundbreaking in this book of semi-related short stories about family relationships — big shocker that if your brother constantly kicks your ass, your mom walks out or your sister is a slut, you get effed up — but the author’s sincerity and strong characters combine for an enjoyable read.

While Diamond is set in our area, what really makes it a Philadelphia book is its pride in the ties that bind us, epitomized by the Mark Twain epigraph: “In Boston they ask, how much does he know? In New York, how much is he worth? In Philadelphia, who were his parents?”