Millhauser's details and his tendency to insert real historical facts blur the line between real and not real. "A Precursor of the Cinema" casually references schools of painting, locations, other artists, new inventions, that may or may not have existed. You'll find yourself Googling names and terms you read in his books--was there really a school of hyper-realist painters calling themselves the Verisimilists? Did Harlan Crane exist? The other story I mentioned, from the same collection, is "The Wizard of West Orange." The "Wizard" is none other than Thomas Edison, and the story follows an abandoned invention called the haptograph, which can recreate the sense of touch--it can simulate a handshake, or the sensation of slipping into water, perfectly. It's extraordinary and just plausible enough to make you long for it. Millhauser's worlds are always just slightly out of reach.