Similar authors to follow
See more recommendations
About Ottessa Moshfegh
Customers Also Bought Items By
An electrifying first collection from one of the most exciting short story writers of our time
"I can’t recall the last time I laughed this hard at a book. Simultaneously, I’m shocked and scandalized. She’s brilliant, this young woman."—David Sedaris
Ottessa Moshfegh's debut novel Eileen was one of the literary events of 2015. Garlanded with critical acclaim, it was named a book of the year by The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle, nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. But as many critics noted, Moshfegh is particularly held in awe for her short stories. Homesick for Another World is the rare case where an author's short story collection is if anything more anticipated than her novel.
And for good reason. There's something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh's stories, something almost dangerous, while also being delightful, and even laugh-out-loud funny. Her characters are all unsteady on their feet in one way or another; they all yearn for connection and betterment, though each in very different ways, but they are often tripped up by their own baser impulses and existential insecurities. Homesick for Another World is a master class in the varieties of self-deception across the gamut of individuals representing the human condition. But part of the unique quality of her voice, the echt Moshfeghian experience, is the way the grotesque and the outrageous are infused with tenderness and compassion. Moshfegh is our Flannery O'Connor, and Homesick for Another World is her Everything That Rises Must Converge or A Good Man is Hard to Find. 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 powerfully invigorating. We're in the hands of an author with a big mind, a big heart, blazing chops, and a political acuity that is needle-sharp. The needle hits the vein before we even feel the prick.
Our narrator should be happy, shouldn't she? She's young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, works an easy job at a hip art gallery, lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn't just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It's the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?
My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a powerful answer to that question. Through the story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs designed to heal our heroine from her alienation from this world, Moshfegh shows us how reasonable, even necessary, alienation can be. Both tender and blackly funny, merciless and compassionate, it is a showcase for the gifts of one of our major writers working at the height of her powers.
-Kevin Power, The New Yorker
From one of our most ceaselessly provocative literary talents, a novel of haunting metaphysical suspense about an elderly widow whose life is upturned when she finds an ominous note on a walk in the woods.
While on her daily walk with her dog in a secluded woods, a woman comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground by stones. "Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body." But there is no dead body. Our narrator is deeply shaken; she has no idea what to make of this. She is new to this area, alone after the death of her husband, and she knows no one.
Becoming obsessed with solving this mystery, our narrator imagines who Magda was and how she met her fate. With very little to go on, she invents a list of murder suspects and possible motives for the crime. Oddly, her suppositions begin to find correspondences in the real world, and with mounting excitement and dread, the fog of mystery starts to fade into menacing certainty. As her investigation widens, strange dissonances accrue, perhaps associated with the darkness in her own past; we must face the prospect that there is either an innocent explanation for all this or a much more sinister one.
A triumphant blend of horror, suspense, and pitch-black comedy, Death in Her Hands asks us to consider how the stories we tell ourselves both reflect the truth and keep us blind to it. Once again, we are in the hands of a narrator whose unreliability is well earned, and the stakes have never been higher.
So here we are. My name was Eileen Dunlop. Now you know me. I was twenty-four years old then, and had a job that paid fifty-seven dollars a week as a kind of secretary at a private juvenile correctional facility for teenage boys. I think of it now as what it really was for all intents and purposes—a prison for boys. I will call it Moorehead. Delvin Moorehead was a terrible landlord I had years later, and so to use his name for such a place feels appropriate. In a week, I would run away from home and never go back.
This is the story of how I disappeared.
The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop, an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between her role as her alcoholic father’s caretaker in a home whose squalor is the talk of the neighborhood and a day job as a secretary at the boys’ prison, filled with its own quotidian horrors. Consumed by resentment and self-loathing, Eileen tempers her dreary days with perverse fantasies and dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, she fills her nights and weekends with shoplifting, stalking a buff prison guard named Randy, and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father’s messes. When the bright, beautiful, and cheery Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counselor at Moorehead, Eileen is enchanted and proves unable to resist what appears at first to be a miraculously budding friendship. In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca ultimately pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings.
Played out against the snowy landscape of coastal New England in the days leading up to Christmas, young Eileen’s story is told from the gimlet-eyed perspective of the now much older narrator. Creepy, mesmerizing, and sublimely funny, in the tradition of Shirley Jackson and early Vladimir Nabokov, this powerful debut novel enthralls and shocks, and introduces one of the most original new voices in contemporary literature.
Salem, Massachusetts, 1851: McGlue is in the hold, still too drunk to be sure of name or situation or orientation--he may have killed a man. That man may have been his best friend. Intolerable memory accompanies sobriety. A-sail on the high seas of literary tradition, Ottessa Moshfegh gives us a nasty heartless blackguard on a knife-sharp voyage through the fogs of recollection.
They said I've done something wrong? . . . And they've just left me down here to starve. They'll see this inanition and be so damned they'll fall to my feet and pass up hot cross buns slathered in fresh butter and beg I forgive them. All of them . . . : the entire world one by one. Like a good priest I'll pat their heads and nod. I'll dunk my skull into a barrel of gin.
El libro del que todo el mundo habla en Estados Unidos.
Una novela sobre la falta de ganas de levantarse de la cama.
«Puede que esta sea la mejor novela existencial escrita por un autor no francés.»
En Mi año de descanso y relajación, Ottessa Moshfegh hace de Manhattan el epicentro de una civilización, la del año 2000, dominada por la apatía. Como una oscura bella durmiente, la narradora de esta novela decide encerrarse durante un año en su piso de una de las zonas más exclusivas de Nueva York, asistida por una herencia ingente y por una gran cantidad de fármacos, para dedicarse a dormir y ver películas de Whoopi Goldberg y Harrison Ford. El inicio de un siglo supuestamente trepidante encuentra a nuestra protagonista durmiendo en el sofá con la tele encendida. Con mucho cinismo, series, películas comerciales y narcóticos, y a costa de cortar todo vínculo humano, cualquiera puede sobrellevar esta vida. Ahora bien, ¿lo que queremos es sobrellevarla?
«Como esta es una novela escrita por Moshfegh, que va sobrada de talento, sabemos de antemano que va a ser una novela original y extraña. [...] Sus frases son penetrantes y viperinas.[...]Escribe con tal serenidad misantrópica que leerla siempre resulta un placer.»
The New York Times
La crítica ha dicho...
«En ocasiones es mejor dormir que vivir porque ¿quién es feliz realmente? Absolutamente nadie. Ottessa Moshfeg se ha enterado de todo y te ha escrito el mejor libro del año.»
«Indispensable durante estas semanas, por lo menos tanto como las mascarillas y el gel desinfectante.»
Paolo Giordano, Babelia
«Una historia distinta, muy propia para estos días de enclaustramiento que vivimos, no recomendable para claustrofóbicos, pero muy interesante para quienes quieran renacer de una situación difícil. Leed y sed felices.».
Mitxel Ezquiaga, Guipúzcoa a diario (Teledonosti)
«Tan refinado como perverso. [...] Un libro absorbente.»
The New Yorker
«Cuando nos recomiendan un libro normalmente preguntamos: "¿De qué trata?". Pero con este libro preguntamos: "¿De qué no trata?". Esta novela trata sobre el odio a una misma, el feminismo, la sexualidad, la salud mental, la familia, la industria farmacéutica... y ADEMÁS es la h*stia de divertida.»
«Ottessa Moshfegh es, posiblemente, la escritora americana actual más interesante a la hora de escribir sobre el asunto de estar vivo cuando estar vivo es una sensación terrible.»
The New Yorker
«Ingeniosa, oscura, cómica [...]. La novela se acelera hasta llegar a la que es probablemente la mejor última página que he leído nunca [...]: un retrato perfecto de alguien que desea con desesperación echarse a dormir para, así, finalmente, sentirse despierta.»
«Electrizante [...]. Moshfegh es una experta en la construcción de personajes femeninos cautivadores que transgreden las normas de la feminidad.
Jeffrey Eugenides, one of the judges for the prize, writes says, "The narrator of 'Bettering Myself' is a problem drinker and Catholic school math teacher who says to her students, 'Most people have had anal sex. Don’t look so surprised.' There’s a deadpan humor to many of Moshfegh’s utterances. A little Henny Youngman in there, trying to break out. But also something a whole lot sadder."
About Recommended Reading:
Great authors inspire us. But what about the stories that inspire them? Recommended Reading, the latest project from Electric Literature, publishes one story every week, each chosen by a great author or editor. In this age of distraction, we uncover writing that's worth slowing down and spending some time with. And in doing so, we help give great writers, literary magazines, and independent presses the recognition (and readership) they deserve.
Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer living in California. Her short stories have appeared in Fence, Noon, Unsaid, VICE, and The Paris Review. She is a recipient of the Plimpton Prize and will be a Wallace Stegner fellow in the fall.
About the Guest Editor:
Founded in 1953, The Paris Review is known for its fiction, poetry, and interviews with writers. In particular, it is known for discovering new writers. Over the years these have included Philip Roth, Jack Kerouac, Adrienne Rich, Donald Barthelme, Mona Simpson, Edward P. Jones, David Foster Wallace, Elizabeth Gilbert, and many others.
Estamos no ano 2000, em Nova York, uma cidade cheia de possibilidades. E a narradora de Meu ano de descanso e relaxamento não tem motivo para queixas. Ela é jovem, bonita, trabalha numa galeria descolada, mora num belo apartamento e recebeu uma herança polpuda. Mas traz um enorme vazio no peito. E não apenas porque perdeu os pais ou por causa da relação destrutiva que desenvolveu com sua melhor amiga. O que pode estar tão errado? Durante um ano, ela passa a maior parte do tempo dormindo, embalada por uma combinação de remédios prescritos por uma psiquiatra inescrupulosa. O pior é que ela parece ter razão em seu desprezo pelo mundo. Tudo fica um pouco ridículo sob sua ótica. Moshfegh nos convence de que a alienação, em tempos confusos como os nossos, pode ser razoável e até mesmo necessária. Delicado e carregado de humor ácido, impiedoso e compreensivo, este romance revela por inteiro uma escritora inventiva e extremamente talentosa.
In ihrem preisgekrönten Roman beschreibt Ottessa Moshfegh das Schicksal einer jungen Frau, die ausbrechen will aus einer von dunklen Obsessionen und roher Gewalt geprägten Welt. Eigentlich kann man dieser Welt nicht entkommen. Es sei denn, man nimmt das Gesetz in die eigene Hand.
Ottessa Moshfegh erzählt die abgründige Geschichte eines Mannes, dessen Hass auf die Welt zu groß ist, als dass er unversehrt sein Dasein fristen kann. "McGlue" ist ein stimmgewaltiges, eindringliches Buch über das immerwährende Scheitern des Menschen, den eigenen Unzulänglichkeiten Herr zu werden. Denn zwischen Schuld und Gerechtigkeit steht immer das Leben.