Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘Steven Millhauser’

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Stories We Love: "A Voice in the Night," by Steven Millhauser

About nine months after I heard Steven Millhauser’s incendiary reading at The Story Prize, his story “A Voice in the Night” arrived in the December 10, 2012 New Yorker. It starts with the title conceit: God’s voice calling the boy Samuel, who thinks the old temple priest Eli must be shouting his name in the darkness. I settled into a straight retelling of the biblical story. Wait. Suddenly we’re in Stratford, Connecticut in 1950 with a boy lying awake one hot summer night thinking about the Samuel story, which he heard in Sunday school that afternoon. He’s listening, too. I […]


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Stories We Love: "A Change of Fashion"

Yesterday, I saw a woman wearing a garment that straddled the line between shorts and panties. Her outfit was revealing, and it made me ask questions like, “how far will fashion go?” and “what was she thinking?” Perhaps author Steven Millhauser had a similar experience at some point, and that led him to write “A Change of Fashion,” a short story that originally appeared in Harper’s Magazine, May 2006. What would happen if next season’s fashions did not favor a slightly shorter hemline or a higher heel, but hiddenness? What if dresses took on shapes larger than Victorian hoop skirts […]


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The Story Prize goes to …

Steven Millhauser! Yes, I know that news broke last week. But Anne and I attended the event on behalf of FWR – quite the literary crowd, Hannah Tinti further down our row, spotted Paul Vidich in the aisle. Here are some highlights: Don Delillo described going back to stories he’d written in the late 1970s and early 80s and not changing anything. Oh, wait, he took out all the semicolons, colons, and commas that magazine editors had introduced. He said it best: “I was a free man.” Cormac McCarthy, eat your heart out. Steven Millhauser, white floss of hair aglow […]



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