Danilo Kis (1935-1989) was a Yugoslavian expat, living and working in France. He wrote some novels but is perhaps better remembered for his short stories (or pocket-sized novels, as he called them) of which this, from 1983, was his final collection.
My favourite over all, though, is 'Simon Magus', the gnostic story of the rival messiah who fell spectacularly foul of Christ's disciples. This is exactly the sort of story I love to read and write.
I am not the biggest fan of introductions. Here, however, the introduction is by Mark Thompson, who is Kis's biographer, and I feel the stories would have been harder to get into without it.