By Lydia Millet

W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393081701, 255pp.

Publication Date: November 2012


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.

About 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.