Omnivores: A Novel

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9781565120891: Omnivores: A Novel

In a wickedly satirical study of the manners and mores of contemporary America, teenager Este+a7e Kraft, a dutiful daughter, struggles to satisfy--or escape--the males in her life: her megalomaniacal father, her real-estate salesman common-law husband, and her toddler son. A first novel.

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About the Author:

Lydia Millet is the author of the novels Sweet Lamb of Heaven, Mermaids in Paradise, Ghost Lights (a New York Times Notable Book), Magnificence (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize) and other books. Her story collection Love in Infant Monkeys was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. She lives outside Tucson, Arizona.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Canadian first-novelist Millet debuts with an absurdist carnival lambasting modern American mores--a rollicking farce featuring a present-day damsel in distress, with nary a serious thought in evidence. Seventeen-year-old Est‚e Kraft has always lived as a prisoner of her own home--that home being her father's mansion an hour outside of Los Angeles. With a useless mother who took to her bed immediately after giving birth to Est‚e, and a sadistic father who collects insects and forces Est‚e to eat them when he isn't running a prosperous crematorium somewhere off the estate, home-schooled Est‚e has learned to survive on her own within this decidedly eccentric universe, though she knows nothing of the ``real'' world outside. Biding her time as she helps her father host a fighting- cock exhibition for his horrified employees, or arranges her crazy mother's Betty Boop collection, Est‚e finally manages to escape her father's clutches on her 18th birthday. Her getaway, though, lands her in the arms of Peter Magnus, a coke-snorting real-estate lawyer who imprisons her in turn in his world of get-rich-quick schemes and L.A. pick-up bars. Impregnated by Peter (though she believes the true father to be the shrunken head of a cannibal that's part of Peter's primitive art collection), Est‚e follows him to a newly purchased retired-folks retreat in Florida, where she raises their untameable, clearly cannibalistic son out of doors, trying to avoid an inevitably bloody disaster. After months of weathering her husband's emotional brutality and her son's physical greed, Est‚e finally does learn to consider her own needs as well as theirs--and once she does, her men's entire world is burst asunder. In satirizing American love of money, yuppie greed, and male egocentricity, first-time author Millet takes aim at some very easy targets. Perhaps next time she'll tell us something we don't already know. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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