Young Martin Dressler begins his career as an industrious helper in his father's cigar store. In the course of his restless young manhood, he makes a swift and eventful rise to the top, accompanied by two sisters--one a dreamlike shadow, the other a worldly business partner. As the eponymous Martin's vision becomes bolder and bolder he walks a haunted line between fantasy and reality, madness and ambition, art and industry, a sense of doom builds piece-by-hypnotic piece until this mesmerizing journey into the heart of an American dreamer reaches its bitter-sweet conclusion.
About the Author
Steven Millhauser was born in 1943 in New York City, and grew up in Connecticut. 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, but did complete a novel that was eventually published in a pared-down form under the title "From the Realm of Morpheus-as well as Edwin Mullhouse." However, it was for his stories that Millhauser became best known; immaculately written, curiously vivid, they trod on fantastic boards in a manner reminiscent of Poe or Borges, but with a distinctively American voice. After "In the Penny Arcade," Millhauser's collections continued with "The Barnum Museum" (1990), "Little Kingdoms" (1993), and "The Knife Thrower and Other Stories" (1998). Steven Millhauser lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, and teaches at Skidmore College.