“When the bird landed on her foot the pop star was surprised.”
This is an early collection of short fiction by Lydia Millet, whose books I recently found out were all on Hoopla, and I felt so rich in Millet, I over-borrowed. I was thinking this collection would be a lot like a lot of early collections, good, but no novels, and I am wrong. This is a really fun and great collection, and even better, short!
Some of the stories:
A recounting of the late marriage of Nicola Tesla, but more so of an apparent housekeeper.
A recounting of Thomas Edison, who after electrocuting an elephant with ac electricity becomes obsessed with the footage. If the story is to be believed, this is both a horrible circumstance, but also one that’s been misrepresented in recounting. Edison did kill the elephant, but the elephant had killed three people. So it’s a least a little more complex.
A story about Jimmy Carter looking to reconcile a childhood indiscretion shortly after losing the 1980 presidential election, but who’s friend, now a therapist, believes the visit to be about a recent mishap in which Carter was “attacked” by a swimming rabbit. A real thing I didn’t know about.
A story about a Sharon Stone impersonator being trafficked (kind of) to an Indian billionaire after Sharon Stone’s boyfriend was bitten by a Komodo dragon.
The accounting of the infamous wire monkey-mother experiments.
These are not all the stories, but you can see a pattern of rendering a fictional story out of a real life event.