Lydia Millet: Mermaids in Paradise

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Lydia Millet's new novel, Mermaids in Paradise (W.W. Norton), is fast-moving and funny--except when it isn't. A struggle to save real mermaids from crass commercialism intruding into their paradise illustrates how ridiculous things become when they are taken seriously by ridiculous people, and the chaos and nonsense that must be outlasted before finally arriving at the beauty beyond despair and spite.