Lydia Millet

Lydia Millet is the author of seven books, most recently a story collection called Love in Infant Monkeys (2009), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and a novel, How the Dead Dream, named an L.A. Times Best Book of 2008. An earlier novel, My Happy Life, won the 2003 PEN-USA Award for Fiction. Her next two books, Ghost Lights and Magnificence, are coming out from W.W. Norton in late 2011 and 2012. Millet lives in the Arizona desert outside Tucson with her family.

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ISBN-13: 9781931520713
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Big Mouth House, 5/2011
Cara's mother has disappeared. Her father isn't talking about it. Her big brother Max is hiding behind his iPod, and her genius little brother Jackson is busy studying the creatures he collects from the beach. But when a watery specter begins to haunt the family's Cape Cod home, Cara and her brothers realize that their scientist mother may not be who they thought she was--and that the world has much stranger, much older inhabitants than they had imagined.

With help from Cara's best friend Hayley, the three embark on a quest that will lead them from the Cape's hidden, ancient places to a shipwreck at the bottom of the sea. They're soon on the front lines of an ancient battle between good and evil, with the terrifying "pouring man" close on their heels.

Packed with memorable characters and thrilling imagery, Lydia Millet weaves a page-turning adventure even as she brings the seaside world of Cape Cod to magical life. The first in a series of books about the Sykes children, "The Fires Beneath the Sea" is a rip-cracking middle-grade novel that will make perfect beach reading--for readers of any age!

Ghost Lights (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780393081718
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 10/2011
Hal is a mild-mannered IRS bureaucrat who suspects that his wife is cheating with her younger, more virile coworker. At a drunken dinner party, Hal volunteers to fly to Belize in search of Susan's employer, T.--the protagonist of Lydia Millet's novel How the Dead Dream--who has vanished in a tropical jungle, initiating a darkly humorous descent into strange and unpredictable terrain.

ISBN-13: 9781593762520
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Published: Soft Skull Press, 9/2009
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.

How the Dead Dream (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780156035460
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Published: Mariner Books, 9/2009

As a wealthy, young real-estate developer in Los Angeles, T. lives an isolated life. He has always kept his distance from people -- from his doting mother to his crass fraternity brothers -- but remains unaware of his loneliness until one night, while driving to Las Vegas, he hits a coyote on the highway. The experience unnerves him and inspires a transformation that leads T. to question his business pursuits for the first time in his life, to take a chance at falling in love, and finally to begin breaking into zoos across the country, where he finds solace in the presence of animals on the brink of extinction.

A beautiful, heart-wrenching tale, "How the Dead Dream" is also a riveting commentary on individualism and community in the modern social landscape and how the lives of people and animals are deeply entwined. Judged by many-- including the"Los Angeles Times"and"The Washington Post Book World--" to be Millet's best work to date, it is, as"Time Out New York"perfectly states: "This beautiful writer's most ambitious novel yet, a captivating balancing act between full-bodied satire and bighearted insight."

My Happy Life (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781933368764
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Published: Soft Skull Press, 4/2007

A simple woman looks back on her harsh life with extraordinary insight and unexpected joy.

At the opening of "My Happy Life," the unnamed narrator of this bittersweet fictional memoir has been abandoned in a locked room of a defunct hospital for the mentally ill. She hasn't seen the nice man who brings her food in days; she's eaten the soap and the toothpaste; she tried to eat the plaster on her walls, a dietary adventure that ended none too well. And yet, curiously, the narrator is happy. Despite a lifetime of neglect, physical abuse, and loss, she's incapable of perceiving slight or injury. She has infinite faith in the goodwill of others, loves even her enemies, and finds grace and communion in places most people wouldn't dare to look. By stepping outside her meager circumstances, she's able to live each moment as though it were her last-with gratitude, longing, and delight.

Readers will be unable to put down Lydia Millet's impressive, original foray into serious literary fiction.

ISBN-13: 9780156031035
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Published: Mariner Books, 7/2006

In Oh Pure and Radiant Heart, the three dead geniuses who invented the atomic bomb-Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, and Enrico Fermi-mysteriously appear in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2003, nearly sixty years after they watched history's first mushroom cloud rise over the New Mexico desert in 1945. One by one, they are discovered by a shy librarian, who takes them in and devotes herself to them. Faced with the evidence of their nuclear legacy, the scientists embark on a global disarmament campaign that takes them from Hiroshima to Nevada to the United Nations. Along the way, they acquire a billionaire pothead benefactor and a growing convoy of RVs carrying groupies, drifters, activists, former Deadheads, New Age freeloaders, and religious fanatics.

In this heroically mischievous, sweeping tour de force, Lydia Millet brings us an apocalyptic fable that marries the personal to the political, confronts the longing for immortality with the desire for redemption, and evokes both the beauty and the tragedy of the nuclear sublime.

Everyone's Pretty (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781932360776
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Soft Skull Press, 1/2005
Everyone's Pretty is a savagely funny novel about the search for God, sex, and significance. When he's not drinking himself into a stupor, stealing credit cards to pay for sex, or plotting his fame with a horny midget, Los Angeles pornographer Dean Decetes entertains messianic delusions and freeloads wantonly from his spinster sister. Distancing herself from her deadbeat sibling, Bucella obsesses over the quasi-religious love notes she writes to her boss and reassures a coterie of codependent coworkers, including a hygiene-phobic Christian Scientist and a depressive blonde bombshell named Alice. Next door, a teenage math genius has endured humiliation at the hands of her mother and is running away from home. She hightails it to a local dive and hooks up with Dean's editor from the porno magazine. Told from five hilariously bizarre points of view, this novel serves up a fabulously florid cast of characters, many inspired by author Lydia Millet's two-year stint working at Larry Flynt Publications.