How the Dead Dream
By Lydia Millet
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780099520757)
Publication Date: September 2009
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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 inidividualism 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."