Mueller, Daniel

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MUELLER, Daniel

PERSONAL:

Male. Education: Graduate of Hollins University; attended Iowa Writers' Workshop.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of English Language and Literature, MSC 03 2170, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, assistant professor of English, 2001—. Has taught creative writing at Dartmouth College and Western Michigan University.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Playboy college fiction contest winner, 1990; Sewanee fiction prize, 1998, and Esquire selection as one of five best collections of 1999, both for How Animals Mate; fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Henfield Foundation, University of Virginia, and University of Iowa.

WRITINGS:

How Animals Mate (short stories), Overlook Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Contributor to literary journals, including Story, Another Chicago Magazine, Orchid, and Wandler (Germany).

WORK IN PROGRESS:

A novel.

SIDELIGHTS:

Daniel Mueller's debut collection of stories, How Animals Mate, portrays "the extremes of loneliness that inhabit the souls of modern America in out-of-the-way places," observed a Kirkus Reviews critic, who added that the author presents "nicely drawn albeit perhaps depressing portraits of the freaks, malcontents, and lumpen weirdos who lurk on the margins of respectable society."

The narrator of the title story is Rich Revelle, a young voyeur who has moved with his family to a small Minnesota town in which plot segments expose disintegrating families, pornography, and murder. In "Torturing Creatures of the Night," an overweight man nicknamed Fig-Face wanders through his neighborhood with a television remote control, hiding in the bushes and pointing the remote through windows, changing the channels of family televisions to stations airing horror movies. In "Zero," a man is bankrupted by his lover's medical bills as he dies from AIDS.

In a review of How Animals Mate, a Publishers Weekly contributor said that "this impressive, grimly humorous debut collection … shows how the grotesque and the normal have so merged in American culture that moving from one to another is as easy as changing a channel." Nora Krug wrote in the New York Times Book Review that, "as the bodies pile up, it's hard not to feel that this carnage is intended merely to shock, that these characters are nothing more than pathetic outcasts who can't see beyond the rock lyrics that inform their behavior. But while the violence is disconcerting in itself, it is also disconcerting for what it suggests about the links between our most dangerous instincts and our most loving ones."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 1999, review of How Animals Mate, p. 92.

New York Times Book Review, June 6, 1999, Nora Krug, review of How Animals Mate,

Publishers Weekly, January 18, 1999, review of How Animals Mate, p. 327.*