It's Greenwich Village in the 1960s, where ex-patriots, artists, scientists, and rogues meet to exchange ideas and have a good time. A stand selling empanadas on the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal streets is the centre of the world for the narrator, an aspiring writer who has just graduated from college. At the stand, he falls in with a bohemian crowd who introduce him to their schemes, ideas, friendship, spicy food - and women, particularly an aspiring flamenco dancer from Argentina. Told in 63 short chapters and close in feeling to Nichols' first work of fiction, "A Sterile Cuckoo", this captures a special place and time, those days of relative innocence and youthful possibility, but it also describes the world. It is a wise and transporting novel.