Mermaids in Paradise

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UPC: 9780393351729
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Author: Lydia Millet
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (October 13, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393351726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393351729
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches

“Hilariously funny. . . . Lydia Millet’s novels raise the bar for boldness.” ―Rene Steinke, New York Times Book Review

On the grounds of a Caribbean island resort, newlyweds Deb and Chip―our opinionated, skeptical narrator and her cheerful jock husband who's friendly to a fault―meet a marine biologist who says she's sighted mermaids in a coral reef.

As the resort's "parent company" swoops in to corner the market on mythological creatures, the couple joins forces with other adventurous souls, including an ex–Navy SEAL with a love of explosives and a hipster Tokyo VJ, to save said mermaids from the "Venture of Marvels," which wants to turn their reef into a theme park.

Mermaids in Paradise is Lydia Millet's funniest book yet, tempering the sharp satire of her early career with the empathy and subtlety of her more recent novels and short stories. This is an unforgettable, mesmerizing tale, darkly comic on the surface and illuminating in its depths.


“Millet, with her keen sense of the absurd, brings the book to a surprising conclusion, and makes a point about corporate greed and the destruction of the environment without being heavy-handed.”
Moira Hodgson, Wall Street Journal

“I laughed so hard all over town… leave it to Lydia Millet to capsize her human characters in aquamarine waters and upstage their honeymoon with mermaids. I am awed to know there's a mind like Millet's out there―she's a writer without limits, always surprising, always hilarious.”
Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia! and Vampires in the Lemon Grove

Mermaids in Paradise makes brilliant comedy out of a honeymoon trip that veers from the absurd to the sublime and back again. Lydia Millet is a stone-cold genius.”
Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation

“[A] laser-focused satire… The novel has the shape and pace of a thriller… An admirable example of a funny novel with a serious message that works swimmingly. Dive in.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“With equal parts calculated wryness and pleading earnestness, [Millet] delivers a thrilling piece of fabulist fiction.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred review

“A hilarious genre-bender that strikes some serious chords.”
Jane Ciabattari, BBC.com

“Suspenseful, philosophical, and tropical―the funniest you’ll ever read on ecotourism and the wisest you’ll ever read on mermaids.”
Natalie Beach, O Magazine

“[A] deft satire… Millet ramps up the suspense.”
Melissa Maerz, Entertainment Weekly

“A romp with sharp teeth… a slapstick variation on Millet’s abiding theme: the relationship between human beings and the natural world.”
Laura Miller, Salon

“Now that David Foster Wallace is gone, I think Lydia Millet is the American writer with the funniest, wisest grasp on how we fool ourselves… she has as good a chance as anyone to write the novel that defines our time.”
Charles Finch, Chicago Tribune


Lydia Millet is the PEN Award-winning author of eleven works of literary fiction, including Sweet Lamb of Heaven and Magnificence, which have been New York Times Notable Books and Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalists. She lives in Arizona.