In late 19th-century New York, large shop windows multiply and awaken the imaginations of pedestrians, advertising becomes more sophisticated, and it seems as though electric lighting and the telephone are here to stay. Such a setting makes it seem as though any dream can come true, and Martin Dressler is willing to dream. His meteoric career begins in his father's tobacco shop, but at 22 years old he decides to start his own businesses: a restaurant chain followed by a hotel chain. The success of his businesses doesn't reduce his ambitions, and instead his projects become more and more visionary and his engagement in them becomes ever greater. But at the same time, his success begins to progressively isolate him from his family and all that surrounds him. His trajectory reflects many of the changes that came about in New York in the early 20th century--changes that were in large part driven by dreamers like him. "En Nueva York a finales del siglo XIX los grandes escaparates se multiplican y despiertan la imaginacion de los transeuntes, la publicidad comienza a sofisticarse y parece que la iluminacion electrica y el telefono terminaran por imponerse. En un escenario asi parece que cualquier sueno puede hacerse realidad, y Martin Dressler esta dispuesto a sonar. Su meteorica carrera empieza en la tabaqueria de su padre, pero a los 22 anos de edad decide poner en marcha su primera empresa: una cadena de restaurantes, a la que luego seguira otra de hoteles. El exito de sus negocios no minara su ambicion, sino que en vez sus proyectos se iran haciendo mas y mas visionarios y su envolvimiento en ellos sera cada vez mayor. Pero, mientras tanto, el exito lo va aislando progresivamente de su familia y de cuanto le rodea. Su trayectoria refleja muchos de los cambios que se produjeron en Nueva York a comienzos del siglo XX--cambios que fueron impulsados en gran medida por sonadores como el. "
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.