cover image The Selected Stories of Siegfried Lenz

The Selected Stories of Siegfried Lenz

Henry Miller, Siegfried Lenz, Emil Schnellock. New Directions Publishing Corporation, $12.95 (225pp) ISBN 978-0-8112-1092-8

This brief, delightful book, crammed with the late Miller's characteristically uninhibited mischief, has been a long time coming to fruition: as early as 1938, he planned to gather his letters to his friend Emil Schnellock into a book, aware that they illuminated a critical period of his life. Members of the class of 1905 at P.S. 85 in Brooklyn, N.Y., Miller and Schnellock were reunited as adults in 1921 when Miller, frustrated with an unhappy marriage and a job at Western Union, seized upon a fortuitous encounter between them as an opportunity for esthetic and intellectual companionship. Schnellock, a successful commercial artist, had traveled widely and studied art; encouraged by what this newfound mentor had to say, Miller began to consider writing in earnest. So it was, from 1922 to the mid-'30s in New York and then in Paris, when he was struggling to find his voice, that Miller's literary persona began to emerge from his outpourings--what he saw, wrote and planned to write--to his ``literary trustee.'' Wickes, editor of this collection, teaches at the University of Oregon. (June)