Magnificence: A Novel

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 2013 - Fiction - 255 pages
2 Reviews

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.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nivramkoorb - LibraryThing

This book was last one of the trilogy and perhaps I would have enjoyed it more had I read the first 2 novels. I chose this book based on the author's reputation with authors writings. The story about ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - libsue - LibraryThing

Nicely written book that goes nowhere. Maybe it's just deeper than I am, but I got lost in the taxidermy. I'm sure it symbolized something but by the time the secret of the manhole cover was revealed I didn't care anymore. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
30
Section 3
51
Section 4
62
Section 5
68
Section 6
75
Section 7
82
Section 8
87
Section 12
145
Section 13
150
Section 14
159
Section 15
170
Section 16
197
Section 17
207
Section 18
212
Section 19
220

Section 9
104
Section 10
113
Section 11
142
Section 20
244
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

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 collection Love in Infant Monkeys was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. She lives outside Tucson, Arizona.

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