New and Selected Stories
Alfred A. Knopf, $27.95, 400 pp.
Critics sometimes compare Steven Millhauser’s work to Kafka’s or to Borges’s. Maybe this is because of his clean, uninflected sentences or his essayistic tone, the rigorous logic of his tales or the way he makes his most fantastical plots seem vivid. Millhauser has written so many stories about strange artists and craftsmen—doll-makers, magicians, trompe-l’oeil painters, architects of fantastic department stores, and inventors of premodern moving pictures—that he can seem like one of them,...
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Gabriel Brownstein, associate professor of English at St. John’s University, is the author of two works of fiction. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W (W. W. Norton & Co.) won the PEN/Hemingway Award in 2002. His novel The Man from Beyond (W. W. Norton & Co.) was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and one of Booklist’s Top 10 Historical Novels in 2005.