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Fight No More: Stories
by Lydia Millet
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These well written short stories each focus on a different character, but all are connected with each other so that the book feels like a novel. Trauma, depression, and the hurt that birth families cause are recurring themes, and hope is sometimes fleeting. Each character is fascinating, and I finished this book wanting to learn more about them. Recommended for all readers. ( )
This was really more of a novel or novella than a collection of stories, I think, and I think it hangs together pretty well. I'm not sure why it's presented as a story collection.
Really good collection of short stories that are all connected.
The linked short story format is really done justice here. While the stories center around the same general area of white, upper-middle-class (with some exceptions) Los Angeles, and are loosely gathered around the theme of home and family—the central character is a real estate agent—it's up to the reader to find deeper connections than what's apparent on the surface. Real estate is a bulwark against loss, and family is what you're born into but also what you build—also to shore against loss, not to mention against that family you're born into. Sometimes the characters can be a bit cut and dried—you pretty much know who you should root for and who are the bad guys from the beginning—but Millet's enormous compassion for the good ones buoys the book. The writing and dialogue are both terrific, and Millet does the hard-won release of dark humor very well. I'll be seeking out more of her work.
Why on earth is Lydia Millet not a more well known author? These stories are truly wonderful, engaging, and just a little off kilter. So enjoyable. I loved Sweet Lamb of Heaven, and now that I've also loved this, I'm tempted to go back and read the entirety of her work.
In her first story collection since Love in Infant Monkeys, which became a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Lydia Millet explores what it means to be home. Nina, a lonely real-estate broker estranged from her only relative, is at the center of a web of stories connecting fractured communities and families. She moves through the houses of L.A.'s wealthy elite and finds men and women both crass and tender, vicious and desperate. With wit and intellect, Millet offers profound insight into human behavior from the ordinary to the bizarre: strong-minded girls are beset by the helpless; myopic executives are tormented by their employees; and beastly men do beastly things. Fresh off the critical triumph of Sweet Lamb of Heaven (longlisted for the National Book Award), Millet is pioneering a new kind of satire--compassionate toward its victims and hilariously brutal in its depiction of modern American life.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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