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9781400031733

The King in the Tree

Millhauser, Steven

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9781400031733: The King in the Tree

A master of literary transformation, Pulitzer Prize-winner Steven Millhauser turns his attention to the transformations of love in these three hypnotic novellas. While ostensibly showing her home to a prospective buyer, the narrator of “Revenge” unfolds an origami-like narrative of betrayal and psychic violence. In “An Adventure of Don Juan” the legendary seducer seeks out new diversion on an English country estate with devastating results. And the title novella retells the story of Tristan and Ysolt from the agonized perspective of King Mark, a husband who compulsively looks for evidence of his wife’s adultery yet compulsively denies what he finds. Combining enchantment as ancient as Sheherezade’s with up-to-the-minute acuity and unease, The King in the Tree is Millhauser at his best.

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From the Inside Flap:

From the author of Edwin Mullhouse and the Pulitzer Prize?winning Martin Dressler: three dazzling novellas about the many shapes of love.

?Revenge? is a tour de force about erotic love and betrayal, told through the voice of a woman showing her home to a stranger with a disturbing secret. As the once-happy wife moves from living room to bedroom, she insinuates herself into her guest?s (and the reader?s) mind?and we witness the gradual unfolding of a carefully meditated scheme of revenge.

?An Adventure of Don Juan? and the title novella transform classic fables into immediate, wholly original tales of romance. The first puts the famous lover on a country estate in England, where he attempts to perpetrate a brilliant seduction only to discover something surprising about the human heart. In the mesmerizing ?The King in the Tree,? Millhauser explores devotion and denial, casting the tragedy of Tristan and Ysolt as an engrossing tale of a king?s infatuation with his beautiful wife?and the agony of her betrayal with his own nephew.

Full of passion, trysting, and fatal pleasures, these three brilliant novellas are rich with the many gifts of our most persistently imaginative romancer.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author:

Steven Millhauser received the Pulitzer Prize for Martin Dressler. He is the author of nine other books, including Edwin Mullhouse, Enchanted Night, and The Knife Thrower and Other Stories. He teaches at Skidmore College and lives with his wife and two children in Saratoga Springs, New York.

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