In the Penny Arcade

In the Penny Arcade

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By Steven Millhauser

ISBN: 9781564786722

Publication Date: 3/1/1998

After the success of his first novels (Edwin Mullhouse and Portrait of a Romantic), Steven Millhauser went on to enchant critics and readers with two short story collections that captured the magic and beauty of his longer works in vivid miniature.

The seven stories of In the Penny Arcade blend the real and the fantastic in a seductive mix that illuminates the full range of the author's gifts, from the story of "August Eschenburg," the clockmaker's son whose extraordinary talent for creating animated figures is lost on a world whose taste for the perverse and crude supersedes that of the refined and beautiful, to "Cathay," a kingdom whose wonders include elaborate landscape paintings executed on the eyelids and nipples of court ladies.


"In the Penny Arcade is a showcase of style and grace." Washington Post


"Mr. Millhauser possesses a bountiful imagination and an ability to catch his perceptions in a bright butterfly net of prose, and these gifts lend these stories a lovely afterlife, colorful and lively, in the reader's mind." —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"Exquisitely crafted . . . startling imagery and breathtaking style. After gracing the 70s with two of its most intriguing and beautiful novels, Mr. Millhauser has now proven himself a miniaturist of equally astonishing ability." Baltimore Sun

Biographical Information

Steven Millhauser was born in 1943 in New York City. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1965, and went on to pursue a doctorate in English at Brown University. He never completed his dissertation. Millhauser became best known for his short stories; immaculately written, curiously vivid, they trod on fantastic boards in a manner reminiscent of Poe or Borges, but with a distinctively American voice. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for his novel Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer. Steven Millhauser taught at Skidmore College for almost thirty years and lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.