I had never read any Lydia Millet before I read this – I think I picked it up based on her literary reputation alone. And now whenever I describe the plot to people, I hear myself and think, okay, “Guy with too much money moves to Arizona. Cool. That sounds terrible.” But that’s not really what it’s about! It’s beautifully written, the prose is lovely and compelling, it’s moving & really funny, and it was one of the best books I read in 2022. It’s really about this guy, Gil, not liking his own life and trying to figure out what it really means to be a good person. I can get on board with that. -sm
One of NPR's Books We Love for 2022 • A New Yorker Best Books of 2022 So Far • A Publishers Weekly Best Novel of 2022 • A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2022 • One of Time's 100 Must-Read Books of 2022 • An Oprah Daily and Literary Hub Favorite Book of 2022 • A BookBrowse Top 20 Best Books of 2022
A stunning new novel from the author of A Children’s Bible, a National Book Award finalist and one of the New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2020.
Over twelve novels and two collections Lydia Millet has emerged as a major American novelist. Hailed as "a writer without limits" (Karen Russell) and "a stone-cold genius" (Jenny Offill), Millet makes fiction that vividly evokes the ties between people and other animals and the crisis of extinction.
Her exquisite new novel is the story of a man named Gil who walks from New York to Arizona to recover from a failed love. After he arrives, new neighbors move into the glass-walled house next door and his life begins to mesh with theirs. In this warmly textured, drily funny, and philosophical account of Gil’s unexpected devotion to the family, Millet explores the uncanny territory where the self ends and community begins—what one person can do in a world beset by emergencies.
Dinosaurs is both sharp-edged and tender, an emotionally moving, intellectually resonant novel that asks: In the shadow of existential threat, where does hope live?
About the Author
Lydia Millet is the author of A Children's Bible, a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times Top 10 book of 2020, among other works of fiction. She has won awards from PEN Center USA and the American Academy of Arts and Letters and been shortlisted for the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her story collection Love in Infant Monkeys was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. She has a master’s degree in environmental economics and lives in Tucson, Arizona, and Camden, Maine.
[S]harp and implacably funny…The novel is both aubade and vesper. It implies that some people can’t escape the prisons of who they are…. Millet’s novels draw solace from the idea that we are infinitely bigger than ourselves. — Katy Waldman - The New Yorker
Dinosaurs solidifies a new phase of Millet’s career.…The spaciousness of the style makes the sense of loss richer and the questions posed—what constitutes moral action, how best can we help one another—at once simpler and more profound…. Millet’s great insight—why her writing matters so much right now—is that looking outside the human is what gives human life its meaning.
— Christine Smallwood - New York Times Magazine
Minimalist, well-crafted… Millet is exceptionally skilled at what she does. — Sandra Newman - The Guardian
Millet has perfected charged, science-based prose that takes a surgeon’s loupe to how people interact with nature. — L. A. Taggart - San Francisco Chronicle
This gentle, redemptive novel follows a damaged, trusting man as he heals through human connection and requited love…. it leaves a warm afterglow and an optimism that lingers. — Sally Morris - Daily Mail
Tender but never sentimental, wearing its intelligence in a low-slung style, Dinosaurs is a garden of earthly delights.
— Laura Mechling - Vogue
Deceptively simple and quietly lovely. — Adrienne Westenfeld - Esquire
[I]ridescent prose. — Katie O'Reilly - Sierra
[E]nfolds thematic and psychological depths in elegant, deceptively simply prose…. Another life-affirming work from a writer who always carves her own literary path. — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Millet returns with a brilliant story of survival, one subtler and more effective than the NBA-shortlisted A Children’s Bible (2020).…This wonderful and dynamic writer is at the top of her game.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[A]n intriguing portrait of a lonesome man trying to do good in a grim world. — Donna Seaman - Booklist (starred review)