Fiction. Robert Coover takes us through the looking-glass of Joseph Cornell's boxes into a world of "Grand Hotels" we never dreamed of. Rooms are accessed via ferris wheel. They open onto crystal cages, night voyages, sand fountains. They lead us back to childhood, to forgotten games, to sleeping princess who do not await a prince and, finally, home, poor heart. Funny and wistful by turns, these brilliant vignettes explore the nature of desire and the melancholy of fulfillment. As the author says, they are also an "architectural portrait of the artist," with biographical information "built into the construction of the text like girders, brickwork or decor." "A set of brochures to the marvelous. Coover, with magnificent simplicity, orchestrates countering strands of pathos and wonder, decadence and innocent glee, in these 10 short chapters that are sure to make anyone permanently dissatisfied with the run-down bed-and-breakfast we call planet Earth"—Publishers Weekly.