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For years I’ve been longing for a novel that would compell me to read the way I did as a child–voraciously and without distraction. Given the fact that I can barely read anything these days without taking breaks to play Words With Friends, I had all but given up; then came “My Year of Rest and Relaxation.” Because the novel and its author, Otessa Moshfegh, are this year’s darlings, I hesitated; popular books usually disappoint me. But I read this one in two days, and would have in a single sitting if I’d had the chance. It is simply the best novel I’ve read by a living author, and one of the best I’ve read in my life. Moshgegh’s unnamed narrator is 26, beautiful and model-like, a Columbia graduate with a degree in art history and a job in a Chelsea art gallery. She’s also alone and completely empty inside. Her cold, distant parents died while she was in college; she has no siblings; her unofficial boyfriend is a horrible jerk; her only friend is an annoying bullemic who she mistreats at every opportunity. Caught sleeping on the job, the narrator decides to put her firing to good use by devising a year-long rest cure. Armed with a huge variety of psychotropic drugs, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medications prescribed by a shady, criminally incompetent psychiatrist, she shuts herself in her Upper East Side apartment and, supported by her inheritance and unemployment benefits, starts sleeping full-time. Nevertheless, things keep happening, both to her and to the world, during her fateful year off. Moshfegh’s writing is brilliant, but what sets her apart from even the best of her contemporaries is the consistent pace of the novel. There are no dead spots, no dull passages, and none of the unevenness that ruins so many contemporary novels. “My Year of Rest and Relaxation” is that rarest of things: a profound, literary page-turner. I can’t wait to read it again, along with everything else Moshfegh has published, and can’t recommend it highly enough.

My Year Of Rest And Relaxation Epub

From one of our boldest, most celebrated new literary voices, a novel about a young woman’s efforts to duck the ills of the world by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes

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.

About the Author

Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from New England. Her first book, McGlue, a novella, won the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the Believer Book Award. She is also the author of the short story collection Homesick for Another World. Her stories have been published in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Granta, and have earned her a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, the Plimpton Discovery Prize, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Eileen, her first novel, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction; My Year of Rest and Relaxation, her second novel, was a New York Times bestseller.

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