Love in Infant Monkeys:
by Lydia Millet
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A shrewd, and necessary, decision the novelist Lydia Millet has made in assembling her first collection of short stories is the order of its content. As in George Saunders’s CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, the stories that compose Love in Infant Monkeys are unified by their satiric dead aim, their perturbing vision of what it means to be American, and their originality. No writer but Millet, whose novels include How the Dead Dream (2008) and Oh Pure and Radiant Heart (2005), could have written these ten funny, weird, and ultimately sad and shaming stories.
A collection that lampoons celebrity culture might naturally begin with Madonna, one of the few to have ascended to the Olympian height of one-name fame. But “Sexing the Pheasant,” in which the pop icon is costumed for the hunt, is the right story with which
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