Books That Inspire 2009

Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943-1954 by Jeffrey Cartwright
Steven Millhauser

In this unusual fictional biography with a delightful twist, Millhauser’s narrator, Jeffrey Cartwright, recounts the brief life of Edwin Mullhouse, his best friend, whom he celebrates as a literary genius. This dazzlingly written, almost forgotten novel offers an enchanted, rapturously funny take on mid-twentieth-century American childhood and life, a vision of the world at once so original, so frightening, and so uplifting that it threatens to change the way one thinks and feels about the world.

Kenneth Haltman
H. Russell Pitman Professor of Art History and American Studies
School of Art and Art History