BN.com Gift Guide

Understanding Steven Millhauser

Overview


Earl Ingersoll introduces the fiction of Steven Millhauser, whose distinguished career of more than four decades includes eight books of short fiction and four novels, the latest being the Pulitzer Prize-winning Martin Dressler (1996). In Understanding Steven Millhauser, Ingersoll explores Millhauser's twelve books chronologically, revealing the development of a major contemporary American writer and a master of fiction who cares as deeply about his craft as the modernists did earlier in the past century. While ...
See more details below
Hardcover
$37.96
BN.com price
(Save 4%)$39.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $23.65   
  • New (5) from $29.96   
  • Used (4) from $23.65   
Understanding Steven Millhauser

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.49
BN.com price
(Save 43%)$21.95 List Price

Overview


Earl Ingersoll introduces the fiction of Steven Millhauser, whose distinguished career of more than four decades includes eight books of short fiction and four novels, the latest being the Pulitzer Prize-winning Martin Dressler (1996). In Understanding Steven Millhauser, Ingersoll explores Millhauser's twelve books chronologically, revealing the development of a major contemporary American writer and a master of fiction who cares as deeply about his craft as the modernists did earlier in the past century. While most examinations of an author's work begin with at least a biographical sketch, Ingersoll has faced distinct challenges because Millhauser has resisted efforts to read his fiction through the lens of his biography. Responding to an interviewer's request for a brief biography, Millhauser provided the succinct "1943-."

Part of such resistance, Ingersoll argues, arises from Millhauser's belief that if readers have too many questions about an author's work, the author has failed, and no amount of response can redress that failure. Millhauser's central characters, such as August Eschenburg and J. Franklin Payne, are often themselves artists or technicians who are "overreachers," and Ingersoll shows that Millhauser's early expressions of literary realism have given way to interest in departures from the "real." For Millhauser, "stories, like conjuring tricks, are invented because history is inadequate to our dreams." Millhauser's strength is the ability to sustain obsessions because works of fiction succeed insofar as they are able to supplant reality.

As a master fabulist, Ingersoll argues, Millhauser is preoccupied with extravagance both in the subject matter of his fiction and in his style. Whether it involves Martin Dressler doing himself in by designing and constructing increasingly complex hotels or the miniaturists in the short story "Cathay" pushing their impulse to extremes, past the eye's ability to see their art objects, Millhauser's fiction is full of such an impulse, which can produce prolific artists as well as compulsive lunatics. The triumph of Millhauser's craft, Ingersoll shows, is that it merges a fascination with the relationship between imagination and experience with a precise and allusive prose to produce works seamlessly joining the everyday with the radical and fantastic, in forms ranging from travelogues of the imagination to works merging the waking world with the world of dreams.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Much like the characters in his uncannily-crafted stories, Steven Millhauser has remained an elusive and enigmatic figure, always just outside the margins of our admiration. Earl G. Ingersoll's thorough and incisive study enables us to grasp his evolution as a writer, his themes, and his craft, bringing us as close as we are ever likely to be to understanding his significance in American letters."-- Russell A. Potter, professor of English, Rhode Island College

"Steven Millhauser's fiction dazzles in its precise attention to the power of imagination and to the structures of stories. Earl G. Ingersoll's assiduous, detailed survey of Millhauser's oeuvre reveals the key patterns of plot, perspective, and motif that emerge from the work of this American master."--Josh Lambert, author of Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author


Earl G. Ingersoll is an emeritus distinguished professor and distinguished teaching professor of English at the State University of New York at Brockport. He is the author or editor of seventeen books, including D. H. Lawrence, Desire, and Narrative; Waiting for the End: Gender and Ending in the Contemporary Novel, and most recently Filming Forster: The Challenges of Adapting E. M. Forster's Novels for the Screen.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)