Books

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Ottessa Moshfegh

A shocking, hilarious and strangely tender novel about a young woman’s experiment in narcotic hibernation, aided and abetted by one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature. Our narrator has many of the advantages of life, on the surface. Young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, she lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like everything else, by her inheritance. But there is a vacuum at the heart of things, and it isn’t just the loss of her parents in college, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her alleged best friend. It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?

This story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs, designed to heal us from our alienation from this world, shows us how reasonable, even necessary, that alienation sometimes is. Blackly funny, both merciless and compassionate – dangling its legs over the ledge of 9/11 – this novel is a showcase for the gifts of one of America’s major young writers working at the height of her powers.

Homesick For Another World

Ottessa Moshfegh

There’s something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh’s stories, something almost dangerous while also being delightful – and often even weirdly hilarious. Her characters are all unsteady on their feet; all yearning for connection and betterment, in very different ways, but each of them seems destined to be tripped up by their own baser impulses. What makes these stories so moving is the emotional balance that Moshfegh achieves – the way she exposes the limitless range of self-deception that human beings can employ while, at the same time, infusing the grotesque and outrageous with tenderness and compassion. The flesh is weak; the timber is crooked; people are cruel to each other, and stupid, and hurtful, but beauty comes from strange sources, and the dark energy surging through these stories is oddly and powerfully invigorating.

One of the most gifted and exciting young writers in America, she shows us uncomfortable things, and makes us look at them forensically – until we find, suddenly, that we are really looking at ourselves.

McGlue

Ottessa Moshfegh

They said I've done something wrong?... And they've just left me down here to starve. Haven't had a drop in days more so...

Salem, Massachusetts, 1851: McGlue is in the hold, still too drunk to be sure of his name or situation or orientation – he may have killed a man. That man may have been his best friend. Now, McGlue wants one thing and one thing only: a drink. Because for McGlue, insufferable, terrifying memories accompany sobriety. A-sail on the high seas of literary tradition, Ottessa Moshfegh gives us an unforgettable blackguard on a knife-sharp voyage through the fogs of recollection.

Eileen

Ottessa Moshfegh

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2016

SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE 2016

SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA NEW BLOOD DAGGER AWARD 2016

Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in The Times, Observer and Daily Telegraph

Fully lives up to the hype. A taut psychological thriller, rippled with comedy as black as a raven's wing, Eileen is effortlessly stylish and compelling. - Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, The Times

The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop. Trapped between caring for her alcoholic father and her job as a secretary at the boys’ prison, she tempers her dreary days with dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, her nights and weekends are filled with shoplifting and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father’s messes.

When the beautiful, charismatic Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counsellor at the prison, Eileen is enchanted, unable to resist what appears to be a miraculously budding friendship. But soon, Eileen’s affection for Rebecca will pull her into a crime that far surpasses even her own wild imagination.

Edie

Jean Stein (and others)

Born into a wealthy New England family, Edie Sedgwick became, in the 1960s, both an emblem of, and a memorial to, the doomed world spawned by Andy Warhol. Edie was outrageous, vulnerable and strikingly beautiful. Her childhood was dominated by a brutal but glamouros father. Fleeing to New York, she became an instant celebrity, kown to everyone in the literary, artistic and fashionable worlds of the day. She was Warhol's twin soul, his creature, the superstar of his films and, finally, the victim of a life which he created for her.

Edie is an American fable on an epic scale - the story of a short, crowded and vivid life which is also the story of the decade.

Ottessa Moshfegh

Biography

Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from Boston. She was awarded the Plimpton Prize for her stories in The Paris Review and granted a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her first book, the novella, McGlue, was recently published by Vintage. Her novel Eileen was awarded the 2016 Pen/Hemingway Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her collection of stories, Homesick for Another World, was published in 2017.