In the Penny Arcade
By Steven Millhauser
(Dalkey Archive Press, Paperback, 9781564781826, 176pp.)
Publication Date: March 1998
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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 supercedes 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.