Episode 128 — Lydia Millet


Lydia Millet is the guest. She is a Guggenheim fellow, a past recipient of the PEN-USA Award for Fiction, and her story collection, Love in Infant Monkeys (2009), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.  Her latest novel, Magnificence, is now available in hardcover from W.W. Norton and Company.

Jonathan Lethem raves

“[Magnificence is] elegant, darkly comic. . . with overtones variously of Muriel Spark, Edward Gorey and JG 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.”

And Salon calls it

“Flawlessly beautiful.”

Monologue topics:  chest colds, tuberculosis, the consumption, agent, manuscript, uncertainty, reading, the concept of “good” art, self-perception.