(1930-1995) US novelist; he won the National Book Critics Circle Award and (posthumously) the National Book Award. Best-known as a writer of unsentimental and extremely funny contemporary novels, some of them Fabulations, SE is not generally associated with genre fiction. Nevertheless, from "Perlmutter at the East Pole" (1963), with its Imaginary Lands, to "Town Crier Exclusive, Confessions of a Princess Manque: 'How Royals Found Me "Unsuitable" to Marry Their Larry'" (1993), which comprises the tell-all memoirs of the Prince of England's spurned fiancée in a faintly Alternate Reality, SE has consistently told stories that are too outlandish to be considered mimetic. The Making of Ashenden (1973 chap) tells of a man who finds himself in an erotic entanglement with a bear. The Living End (1979) is a black – or bleak – Afterlife comedy; its cosmology ironically revises Dante's. George Mills (1982) tells the story of a man whose forebears have for 1000 years been cursed (see Curses) with haplessness. The protagonist of The MacGuffin (1991), a characteristically beleaguered man who adopts "the MacGuffin" as a private metaphor for his troubles, finds the MacGuffin, once named, occasionally speaking to him. [GF]
other works: The First George Mills (1980 chap); The Magic Kingdom (1985); The Six-Year-Old Man (1987).
Stanley Lawrence Elkin