|Publisher||Alfred A. Knopf|
Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943-1954, by Jeffrey Cartwright is the critically acclaimed debut novel by American author Steven Millhauser, published in 1972 and written in the form of a biography of a fictitious person by a fictitious author. It was Millhauser's best known novel until the publication of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Martin Dressler in 1997, and according to Patrick McGrath writing in The New York Times it is his best work. Edwin Mullhouse is described by Publishers Weekly as a 'cult novel'.
Jeffrey Cartwright plays Boswell to Edwin Mullhouse's Johnson, and writes his biography. Edwin is an "eccentric young show-off who fancied himself something of a literary wonder"; he writes a novel at age ten, but dies mysteriously at age eleven.
The biography is divided into three parts:
- The Early Years: Aug. 1, 1943 – Aug. 1, 1949: The "pre-literate years" in which Cartwright tells of Edwin's birth and childhood in Newfield, Connecticut including time spent in Kindergarten.
- The Middle Years: Aug. 2, 1949 – Aug. 1, 1952: The "literate years" when Edwin attends school; his tragic obsession with Rose Dorn featuring prominently.
- The Late Years: Aug. 2, 1952 – Aug. 1, 1954: The "literary years" cover the writing of Edwin's novel Cartoons and his untimely death.
- 1972, US, Knopf, ISBN 0-394-48009-0, Hardback
- 1978, US, Avon, ISBN 0-380-01946-9, Paperback
- 1979, UK, Routledge & Kegan Paul, ISBN 0-7100-0147-9, Pub date Mar 1979, Hardback
- 1985, US, Penguin, ISBN 0-140-07782-0, Paperback
- 1996, US, Vintage, ISBN 0-679-76652-9, Paperback
- 1998, UK, Phoenix, ISBN 0-753-80467-0, Pub date Oct 1998, Paperback
- http://www.ric.edu/faculty/rpotter/millhauser.htm Steven Millhauser by Dr. Russell A. Potter, Rhode Island College
- The Library Journal, 15th Aug 1972
- Artists and Automatons: Creators and creations of every sort populate Steven Millhauser's fictional world
- http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-679-76652-0 Publishers Weekly fiction review