Magnificence by Lydia Millet
A Novel

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Some readers may be irked that Millet doesn’t spend more time exploring the enticing contents of that basement.
-NY Times

Synopsis

A woman embarks on a dazzling new phase in her life after inheriting a sprawling mansion and its vast collection of taxidermy.


Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet is "one of the most acclaimed novelists of her generation" (Scott Timberg, Los Angeles Times). Salon praised her for writing that is "always flawlessly beautiful, reaching for an experience that precedes language itself." The Village Voice added, "If Kurt Vonnegut were still alive, he would be extremely jealous."

This stunning new novel presents Susan Lindley, a woman adrift after her husband’s death and the dissolution of her family. Embarking on a new phase in her life after inheriting her uncle’s sprawling mansion and its vast collection of taxidermy, Susan decides to restore the neglected, moth-eaten animal mounts, tending to “the fur and feathers, the beaks, the bones and shimmering tails.” Meanwhile an equally derelict human menagerie—including an unfaithful husband and a chorus of eccentric old women—joins her in residence.


In a setting both wondrous and absurd, Susan defends her legacy from freeloading relatives and explores the mansion’s unknown spaces. Funny and heartbreaking, Magnificence explores evolution and extinction, children and parenthood, loss and revelation. The result is the rapturous final act to the critically acclaimed cycle of novels that began with How the Dead Dream.

 

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 November 5, 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company. 263 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Magnificence
All: 3 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Lisa Zeidner on Dec 07 2012

Some readers may be irked that Millet doesn’t spend more time exploring the enticing contents of that basement.

Read Full Review of Magnificence: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Toronto Star

Below average
Reviewed by Kathleen Byrne on Jan 18 2013

When her curiosity leads her to a huge underground bunker beneath the house, with all the unexpected treasure it contains, we don't share her passion . . . or the author's.

Read Full Review of Magnificence: A Novel | See more reviews from Toronto Star

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by David L. Ulin on Nov 16 2012

Lydia Millet's "Magnificence" is a novel of ideas. I mean that as a high compliment, for the ideas Millet invokes are the only ones that matter: life, death, love, longing, extinction, the ongoing existential quandary of what we are doing here.

Read Full Review of Magnificence: A Novel | See more reviews from LA Times

Reader Rating for Magnificence
53%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 49 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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