The New Yorker: “Coming Soon” by Steven Millhauser

CV1_TNY_12_16_13Nelson.inddDecember 16, 2013: “Coming Soon” by Steven Millhauser

Weird story. Twilight Zone? Kafka? (I couldn’t find a Q&A with Millhauser, so I guess we’re on our own.)

Levinson has moved to a small town to escape the city. He still works hard, but it’s way less stressful than it used to be. Still, he notices that it’s improving and there’s a lot of growth and activity. He goes to visit family and comes back—or does he? There’s a suggestion of a dream state. It hardly matters, though, whether what follows is a dream or an impossible reality. Growth in the town—construction of high-rise apartments, McMansions, new restaurants and shops, an expressway—has moved into hyperspeed.

What’s the point here? You can’t escape progress?

3 Replies to “The New Yorker: “Coming Soon” by Steven Millhauser”

  1. University of South Carolina Press is bringing out my book Understanding Steven Millhauser next month, the first book in English concerning his writing. Although I obviously don’t talk about this recently published story, you might find my discussions of his work useful. The book is an introduction to Steven’s fiction, written for a general audience, occasionally puzzled by his stories. Steven asked to read the manuscript and made suggestions, in a few instances disagreeing with my readings.

    1. Excellent. Thanks for letting us know. Sounds like a helpful book. I’ve always enjoyed his writing, even when I find the stories “puzzling” as you say.

  2. Thank you. I chose to work on this project because I’ve been convinced that his work is too brilliant to not have the readership it deserves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *