Magnificence by Lydia Millet | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Magnificence

Magnificence

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by Lydia Millet
     
 

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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

Overview

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, Magnificenceexplores 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 withHow the Dead Dream.

Editorial Reviews

Jonathan Lethem - The Guardian
“[Magnificence is] elegant, darkly comic…with overtones variously of Muriel Spark, Edward Gorey and J. G. Ballard, full of contemporary wit and devilish fateful turns for her characters, and then also to knit together into a tapestry of vast implication and ethical urgency, something as large as any writer could attempt: a kind of allegorical elegy for life on a dying planet. Ours, that is.”
David Ulin - Los Angeles Times
“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.... [A]n ambitious book, not so much for the sweep of its action, which is essentially domestic, but for its deep and nuanced investigation of inner life....”
Jenny Hendrix - Boston Globe
“...[W]arm, moving, funny, earnest, hopeful, honest, and engaged in a way at odds with current literary fashion…Millet’s lush prose has you in her thrall from the start.”
Mary Pols - San Francisco Chronicle
“...[U]unnervingly talented Lydia Millet completes a trilogy... each stands independently; you can read just one of them if you please. But you won't want to, any more than you'd want to leave Chez Panisse after the appetizer.... There is something of Paula Fox in the way Millet provokes deep thinking without being overbearing. But I hate to compare Millet to anyone; she's truly an original.”
Nicholas Mancusi - Daily Beast
“Millet is simply an incredible writer. Her prose displays the exceedingly rare combination of philosophical introspection with poetic grace and flourish.”
Laura Miller - Salon
“[A] novel of ideas or philosophy, disguised as a portrait of one woman’s midlife upheaval.”
Michele Filgate - Minnesota Star Tribune
“Millet's writing is as lush as the house Susan lives in. There's a marvelous musicality to her prose; she's a writer who tackles human emotions with scientific precision and an artist's voice…. There's a cataloging going on here of the ways that people navigate the world once their world has shifted; Millet does a fine job of breathing life into people who are surrounded by dead things.”
Christine Thomas - Miami Herald
“There’s much to explore in Magnificence, which is ambitious, often funny and deliciously provocative. One needn’t have read the entire series to be consumed by its pleasures, but by the time you reach its beautiful end, considerable comfort lies in the existence of two more novels in which to delight in Millet’s writing and imagination.”
From the Publisher
Earphones Award Winner. "[Xe] Sands presents a complex character whose complaints are balanced by a quirky sense of humor and musings on the meaning of life. Sands's narration is nuanced, entertaining, and thoughtful as Susan emerges from her self-absorption and takes on the role of conservator of the house and its inhabitants." - AudioFile Magazine
A Best Fiction Book of 2012. Starred review. "A dazzling prose stylist, Millet elevates her story beyond that tired tale of a grieving widow struggling to move on, instead exploring grief and love as though they were animals to be stuffed, burrowing in deep and scooping out the innermost layers." - Publishers Weekly
Starred review. "Millet is extraordinarily agile and powerful here, moving from light to shadow like a stalking lioness as Susan's strange stewardship casts light on extinction and preservation, how we care for others and seek or hide truth, and crimes both intimate and planetary." - Booklist
One of the "Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2012 Book Preview" titles. - The Millions
"...provocative, evocative...[Millet's] oblique, elliptical style serves her vision well." - The New York Times
"...Millet's lush prose has you in her thrall from the start..." - The Boston Globe
"Millet's writing is as lush as the house Susan lives in. There's a marvelous musicality to her prose; she's a writer who tackles human emotions with scientific precision and an artist's voice." - Star Tribune
"Magnificence, the final book of a trilogy, is more fable than realism, and promises a kind of moral or eerie warning at the end. It is also more of a long short story than a novel, as all of these subplots are funneled into the service of a single, graceful, short-story-like epiphany." - The Globe and Mail
The Guardian
“[Magnificence is] elegant, darkly comic…with overtones variously of Muriel Spark, Edward Gorey and J. G. Ballard, full of contemporary wit and devilish fateful turns for her characters, and then also to knit together into a tapestry of vast implication and ethical urgency, something as large as any writer could attempt: a kind of allegorical elegy for life on a dying planet. Ours, that is.”— Jonathan Lethem
Los Angeles Times
“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.... [A]n ambitious book, not so much for the sweep of its action, which is essentially domestic, but for its deep and nuanced investigation of inner life....”— David Ulin
NewYorker.com
“Millet’s prose, which is both sensitive and strange... creates a thick atmosphere that immediately pulls the reader deep into this saga of love, death, sex, and taxidermy.”
Boston Globe
“...[W]arm, moving, funny, earnest, hopeful, honest, and engaged in a way at odds with current literary fashion…Millet’s lush prose has you in her thrall from the start.”— Jenny Hendrix
San Francisco Chronicle
“...[U]unnervingly talented Lydia Millet completes a trilogy... each stands independently; you can read just one of them if you please. But you won't want to, any more than you'd want to leave Chez Panisse after the appetizer.... There is something of Paula Fox in the way Millet provokes deep thinking without being overbearing. But I hate to compare Millet to anyone; she's truly an original.”— Mary Pols
Daily Beast
“Millet is simply an incredible writer. Her prose displays the exceedingly rare combination of philosophical introspection with poetic grace and flourish.”— Nicholas Mancusi
Salon
“[A] novel of ideas or philosophy, disguised as a portrait of one woman’s midlife upheaval.”— Laura Miller
Minnesota Star Tribune
“Millet's writing is as lush as the house Susan lives in. There's a marvelous musicality to her prose; she's a writer who tackles human emotions with scientific precision and an artist's voice…. There's a cataloging going on here of the ways that people navigate the world once their world has shifted; Millet does a fine job of breathing life into people who are surrounded by dead things.”— Michele Filgate
Booklist
“Starred review. Millet brings her searching, bitterly funny, ecologically attuned trilogy of Los Angeles–based novels (How the Dead Dream, 2008; Ghost Lights, 2011) to a haunting crescendo. ...Millet is extraordinarily agile and powerful here, moving from light to shadow like a stalking lioness....”
Miami Herald
“There’s much to explore in Magnificence, which is ambitious, often funny and deliciously provocative. One needn’t have read the entire series to be consumed by its pleasures, but by the time you reach its beautiful end, considerable comfort lies in the existence of two more novels in which to delight in Millet’s writing and imagination.”— Christine Thomas

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611736717
Publisher:
Center Point Large Print
Publication date:
02/28/2013
Series:
How the Dead Dream Series, #3
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
303
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.30(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Earphones Award Winner. "[Xe] Sands presents a complex character whose complaints are balanced by a quirky sense of humor and musings on the meaning of life. Sands's narration is nuanced, entertaining, and thoughtful as Susan emerges from her self-absorption and takes on the role of conservator of the house and its inhabitants." - AudioFile Magazine A Best Fiction Book of 2012. Starred review. "A dazzling prose stylist, Millet elevates her story beyond that tired tale of a grieving widow struggling to move on, instead exploring grief and love as though they were animals to be stuffed, burrowing in deep and scooping out the innermost layers." - Publishers Weekly Starred review. "Millet is extraordinarily agile and powerful here, moving from light to shadow like a stalking lioness as Susan's strange stewardship casts light on extinction and preservation, how we care for others and seek or hide truth, and crimes both intimate and planetary." - Booklist One of the "Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2012 Book Preview" titles. - The Millions
"...provocative, evocative...[Millet's] oblique, elliptical style serves her vision well." - The New York Times
"...Millet's lush prose has you in her thrall from the start..." - The Boston Globe
"Millet's writing is as lush as the house Susan lives in. There's a marvelous musicality to her prose; she's a writer who tackles human emotions with scientific precision and an artist's voice." - Star Tribune
"Magnificence, the final book of a trilogy, is more fable than realism, and promises a kind of moral or eerie warning at the end. It is also more of a long short story than a novel, as all of these subplots are funneled into the service of a single, graceful, short-story-like epiphany." - The Globe and Mail

Meet the Author

Lydia Millet is the author of the novels Sweet Lamb of Heaven, Mermaids in Paradise, Ghost Lights (a New York Times Notable Book), Magnificence (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize) and other books. Her story collectionLove in Infant Monkeys was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. She lives outside Tucson, Arizona.

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