Other books bySteven Millhauser
The Knife Thrower
and Other Stories
From the bestselling author of Martin Dressler comes a new collection of short stories that explore the magnificent obsessions of the unfettered imagination, as well as the darker, subterranean currents that fuel them. With the panache of an old-fashioned magician, Steven Millhauser conducts his readers from the dark corners beneath the sunlit world to a balloonist's tour of the heavens. He transforms department stores and amusement parks into alternate universes of infinite plentitude and menace. He unveils the secrets of a maker of automatons and a coven of teenage girls. And on every page of The Knife Thrower and Other Stories, Millhauser confirms his stature as a narrative enchanter in the tradition of Nabokov, Calvino, and Borges.
The King in the Tree
A master of literary transformation, Pulitzer Prize-winner Steven Millhauser turns his attention to the transformations of love in these three hypnotic novellas. While ostensibly showing her home to a prospective buyer, the narrator of “Revenge” unfolds an origami-like narrative of betrayal and psychic violence. In “An Adventure of Don Juan” the legendary seducer seeks out new diversion on an English country estate with devastating results. And the title novella retells the story of Tristan and Ysolt from the agonized perspective of King Mark, a husband who compulsively looks for evidence of his wife’s adultery yet compulsively denies what he finds. Combining enchantment as ancient as Sheherezade’s with up-to-the-minute acuity and unease, The King in the Tree is Millhauser at his best.
The Barnum Museum
is a combination waxworks, masked ball, and circus sideshow masquerading as a collection of short stories. Within its pages, note such sights as: a study of the motives and strategies used by the participants in the game of Clue, including the seduction of Miss Scarlet by Colonel Mustard; the Barnum Museum, a fantastic, monstrous landmark so compelling that an entire town finds its citizens gradually and inexorably disappearing into it; a bored dilettante who constructs an imaginary womanâand loses her to an imaginary man!âand a legendary magician so skilled at sleight-of-hand that he is pursued by police for the crime of erasing the line between the real and the conjured.
Thirteen darkly comic stories, Dangerous Laughter is a mesmerizing journey that stretches the boundaries of the ordinary world.