In this warmhearted and luminous collection of his nonfiction writings, Harry Mark Petrakis carries his readers on an odyssey that spans a lifetime. He begins in the intimate province of the family, with memories of childhood, young love, and early marriage; the experience of raising children; the aging and death of parents. Darker sketches tell of gambling obsessions and life in the streets and the risk of death. In reports on travels, Mr. Petrakis turns a sharp eye on England, the Middle East, and his Greek homeland. Whether he is recalling the world of his family or the world grown large, he writes with a novelist's eye and a poet's language. Readers of Mr. Petrakis's work over the years know they will not only see the landscape and the people but come away with a greater understanding of how dreams and memories play a revelatory role in our lives. Kurt Vonnegut has said of Mr. Petrakis's fiction: “I have often thought what a wonderful basketball team could be formed from Petrakis's characters. Every one of them is at least 14 feet tall.” And John Cheever wrote: “I've always thought Harry Mark Petrakis to be a leading American novelist.” Tales of the Heart sustains his position as one of our finest, most affecting authors.