What are a writer's moral responsibilities? Aside from telling a story, does a novel have to Say Something? Something about the Larger Stuff? This is a question I've heard asked, and asked myself, for years, and I still don't know the answer, but I do know that in terms of my own reading tastes, I tend to stay away from the Big Stuff, not only because I get tired of hearing what trouble we're in, but also because I know that in fiction - good fiction, anyway - everything can be large. Lydia Millet writes about big stuff, but it never feels like it. Her style and her sensibility caustic but never cynical, incisive but never cold ensure that above all else in Millet's world, story reigns supreme.
- the final installment of a trilogy that began with How The Dead Dream
and continued with Ghost Lights
- holds true to Millet's...
Beyond the Book
Even if the book might not quite be about
, like much of Millet's fiction, features animals prominently. When asked about her use of animals in her novels, Millet said, in an interview with Bookforum
"We lose the subject of animals when we move out of childhood. In childhood animals are all around us, and then we throw them out. In childhood they're everywhere, the stuff of our stories and our art and our songs, of our clothes and blankets, of toys and games. Then in adulthood they're distant symbols or objects. They're rudely ejected from our domain. They're frivolous or infantile, suddenly. They're what we eat or maybe pets. Sometimes they're what we kill. But this makes no sense. This impoverishes our imaginations....