How Should a Person Be?

How Should a Person Be?


'It made me want to write' Sally Rooney
'A seriously strange but funny plunge into the quest for authenticity' Margaret Atwood
'A classic in the making' Stylist

Sheila's twenties were going to plan.

She got married.
She hosted parties.
A theatre asked her to write a play.

Then she realised that she didn't know how to write a play.
That her favourite part of the party was cleaning up after the party.
And that her marriage made her feel like she was banging into a brick wall.

So Sheila abandons her marriage and her play, befriends Margaux, a free and untortured painter, and begins sleeping with the dominating Israel, who's a genius at sex but not at art. She throws herself into recording them and everyone around her, investigating how they live, desperate to know, as she wanders, How Should a Person Be?

Using transcripts, real emails, plus heavy doses of fiction, Heti crafts an exciting, courageous, and mordantly funny tour through one woman's heart and mind.



  • Witty, unusual, raw...a powerful read...a classic in the making

About the author

Sheila Heti

Sheila Heti is the author of ten books, including the novels Pure Colour, Motherhood and How Should a Person Be?, which New York magazine deemed one of the 'New Classics' of the twenty-first century and which was longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction. Her novels have been translated into twenty-four languages. She lives in Toronto and Kawartha Lakes, Ontario.
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