Love in Infant Monkeys by Lydia Millet
Stories

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Synopsis

Lions, Komodo dragons, dogs, monkeys, and pheasants — all have shared spotlights and tabloid headlines with celebrities such as Sharon Stone, Thomas Edison, and David Hasselhoff. Millet hilariously tweaks these unholy communions to run a stake through the heart of our fascination with famous people and pop culture.

While in so much fiction animals exist as symbols of good and evil or as author stand-ins, they represent nothing but themselves in Millet’s ruthlessly lucid prose. Implacable in their actions, the animals in Millet’s spiraling fictional riffs and flounces show up their humans as bloated with foolishness yet curiously vulnerable, as in a tour-de-force Kabbalah-infused interior monologue by Madonna after she shoots a pheasant on her Scottish estate. Millet treads newly imaginative territory with these charismatic tales.
 

About Lydia Millet

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Lydia Millet is the author of the New York Times Notable Book Ghost Lights and eight other works of fiction. Her short story collection Love in Infant Monkeys was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She lives with her children outside Tucson, Arizona.
 
Published August 27, 2009 by Soft Skull Press. 193 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Love in Infant Monkeys

Kirkus Reviews

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She considers, for example, Thomas Edison’s electrocution of the elephant Topsy and Jimmy Carter’s humiliating encounter with a “killer rabbit.” An author who has imagined a trailer-park denizen’s quest to win the heart of the 41st president (George Bush, Dark Prince of Love, 2000) is clearly not...

Oct 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories

The New York Times

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These tales center on the interaction of celebrities and animals.

Oct 04 2009 | Read Full Review of Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories

Publishers Weekly

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Millet has fun juxtaposing crudities with pompous politicking: in one wild sequence, Rosemary eats a Hungry Man and plays ""Dos Perros"" with an illegal immigrant lover while Bush and Thatcher confer on Iraq.

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Publishers Weekly

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It makes a bizarre kind of sense to pair animals with celebrities, as the PEN-USA Award–winning Millet does in her new collection, since both tend to provoke our sympathy while remaining fundamentally alien.

Aug 03 2009 | Read Full Review of Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories

BC Books

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He walks the dog with "Blackie," who belongs to a dying violinist who asks the walker to take the dog after he dies, which by the violinist's own admission will be soon.

Nov 22 2009 | Read Full Review of Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories

The Globe and Mail

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What these stories reveal, most of all, is that within this space - the space of imagination, of fiction - is where our most remarkable, revelatory and moving experiences occur.

Oct 30 2009 | Read Full Review of Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

The dog, a timid, damaged animal of great gentleness and forbearance, was on a plane to Africa by the time he found out about it the next day.” The dog walker prefers dogs to humans as dogs are clearly our “moral superiors.” To the dog walker, most people are unworthy of owning a dog and they ar...

Dec 03 2009 | Read Full Review of Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories

Austin Chronicle

Unfortunately, her self-congratulatory inner monologue on her use of British slang, interspersed with guilt over the bleeding bird at her feet, feels forced, as though it were conceived to fulfill a requirement: stories about animals and famous people.

Oct 09 2009 | Read Full Review of Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories

Black Gate

While her work sometimes hints at the fantastic, Lydia Millet isn’t strictly speaking a fantasy writer, certainly not in the sense of questing elves or weird alternate universes, and certainly not as evidenced in her new short story collection, Love in Infant Monkeys.

Nov 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories

Reader Rating for Love in Infant Monkeys
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