Sunday, December 13, 2009's best fiction books of 2009's Laura Miller named her five best fiction books of 2009. One title on the list:
"Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories" by Lydia Millet

This collection begins with a short story about Madonna going on a grouse hunt, which might sound like an inauspicious start for a book whose theme is loss on an epochal scale. Guess again: With immense confidence, Millet takes a motley assortment of famous or pseudo-famous figures -- Thomas Edison, David Hasselhoff, the zoologist from "Born Free," a Sharon Stone impersonator -- and gives each a transformative encounter with an (often imperiled) animal. The result, a cumulative effect formed by all the stories in the collection, draws illuminating connections and comparisons between the trivial and the eternal. Millet's vision is startling, as often tragic as it is hilarious (and she can be very, very funny), but always shot through with the mystery of existence, a gift we can barely manage to appreciate even as we carelessly steal it from the rest of the earth's denizens. "Love in Infant Monkeys" is a slyly and unsentimentally profound exploration of what human beings can (but very seldom do) learn from our fellow creatures.
Read about another book on the list.

Visit Lydia Millet's website and Facebook page.

Lydia Millet is also the author of Omnivores, George Bush, Dark Prince of Love, My Happy Life, a winner of the 2003 PEN-USA Award for Fiction, Everyone’s Pretty, and Oh Pure and Radiant Heart.

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