Lydia Millet’s debut novel, first published in 1996, is an explosive satire that scorches our culture’s monstrous men and institutions.
In a claustrophobic, surreal California house, teenager Estée Kraft lives with her domineering father, whose obsession with insect taxonomy bleeds into sadism. As his schemes multiply, Estée’s bedridden mother, entranced by the glow of the shopping channel, remains oblivious to the escalating chaos. Estée manages to escape her childhood home only to find new horrors awaiting her in marriage and motherhood. In a climactic twist, her traumas take form in flesh and blood—a legacy of the voracious male appetites that have haunted her life.
With acerbic wit, philosophical depth, and enthralling lyricism, Omnivores cuts to the core of America’s hypocrisies and anxieties, and introduced Lydia Millet as one of the wildest satirists of our time.