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Cover image for My year of rest and relaxation
Format:
Title:
My year of rest and relaxation
ISBN:
9780525522119

9780525522133
Publication:
New York : Penguin Press, 2018.
Physical Description:
288 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A portion of this novel appeared in Vice"--Title page verso.
Summary:
"From one of our boldest, most celebrated new literary voices, a shocking and tender novel about a young woman's efforts to sustain a state of deep hibernation over the course of a year on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Holds:

Available:*

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FIC MOSHFEGH 2018
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FICTION - MOSHFEGH
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FICTION - MOSHFEGH
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Moshfegh, O.
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FICTION MOSHFEGH
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Moshfegh, O.
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Moshfegh, O.
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FIC MOSHFEGH
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MOSHFEGH Ottessa
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Moshfegh, O.
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On Order

Summary

Summary

The New York Times bestseller.

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.


Author Notes

Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer. 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. She is currently a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford. Her title My Year of Rest and Relaxation made the bestseller list in 2018.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Kirkus Review

A young New York woman figures there's nothing wrong with existence that a fistful of prescriptions and months of napping wouldn't fix.Moshfegh's prickly fourth book (Homesick for Another World, 2017, etc.) is narrated by an unnamed woman who's decided to spend a year "hibernating." She has a few conventional grief issues. (Her parents are both dead, and they're much on her mind.) And if she's not mentally ill, she's certainly severely maladjusted socially. (She quits her job at an art gallery in obnoxious, scatological fashion.) But Moshfegh isn't interested in grief or mental illness per se. Instead, she means to explore whether there are paths to living that don't involve traditional (and wearying) habits of consumption, production, and relationships. To highlight that point, most of the people in the narrator's life are offbeat or provisional figures: Reva, her well-meaning but shallow former classmate; Trevor, a boyfriend who only pursues her when he's on the rebound; and Dr. Tuttle, a wildly incompetent doctor who freely gives random pill samples and presses one drug, Infermiterol, that produces three-day blackouts. None of which is the stuff of comedy. But Moshfegh has a keen sense of everyday absurdities, a deadpan delivery, and such a well-honed sense of irony that the narrator's predicament never feels tragic; this may be the finest existential novel not written by a French author. (Recovering from one blackout, the narrator thinks, "What had I done? Spent a spa day then gone out clubbing?...Had Reva convinced me to go enjoy myself' or something just as idiotic?") Checking out of society the way the narrator does isn't advisable, but there's still a peculiar kind of uplift to the story in how it urges second-guessing the nature of our attachments while revealing how hard it is to break them.A nervy modern-day rebellion tale that isn't afraid to get dark or find humor in the darkness. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* The unnamed 24-year-old narrator of Moshfegh's (Homesick for Another World, 2017) intriguingly bizarre second novel decides to hibernate in 2000. For about a year, aided by a dizzying parade of pills, she'll treat the Manhattan apartment her inheritance bought her as her den. Her occasional boyfriend treats her horribly, her only friend, Reva, annoys her, and her job working in a Chelsea gallery is literally tiresome: she spends part of every workday napping in a supply closet. None of this is new, though; she has just finally made up her mind to embrace the slumber she so craves. As medications' effectiveness begin to wane, she invents symptoms and increasingly disturbing dreams to elicit ever-stronger medications from her dubiously qualified doctor, until she lands on Infermiterol. Just one pill took days of my life away. It was the perfect drug in that sense. Amidst her haze, which Moshfegh concocts with delirious clarity, the narrator recalls her dead parents her mother, especially, resembles a fairy-tale villain and doesn't disguise her inability to empathize with Reva, whose own mother is dying. Readers might have trouble getting her, but there is one thing they'll know that she doesn't, given the time and place. Propulsive, both disturbing and funny, and smart as hell.--Bostrom, Annie Copyright 2010 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION, by Ottessa Moshfegh. (Penguin Press, $26.) In Moshfegh's darkly comic and profound novel, a troubled young woman evading grief decides to renew her spirit by spending the year sleeping. "I knew in my heart," she tells the reader, "that when I'd slept enough, I'd be O.K." DAYS OF AWE, by A. M. Homes. (Viking, $25.) The author's latest collection of stories confronts the beauty and violence of daily life with mordant wit and a focus on the flesh. Hanging over it all are questions, sliced through with Homes's dark humor, about how we metabolize strangeness, danger, horror. The characters seem to be looking around at their lives and asking: Is this even real? THE WIND IN MY HAIR: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran, by Masih Alinejad. (Little, Brown, $28.) In her passionate and often riveting memoir, Alinejad - an Iranian-American journalist and lifelong advocate for Muslim women - unspools her struggles against poverty, political repression and personal crises. IMPERIAL TWILIGHT: The Opium War and the End of China's Last Golden Age, by Stephen R. Platt. (Knopf, $35.) Platt's enthralling account of the Opium War describes a time when wealth and influence were shifting from East to West, and China was humiliated by Britain's overwhelming power. FROM COLD WAR TO HOT PEACE: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia, by Michael McFaul. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30.) McFaul's memoir of his years representing the United States in Russia describes how his lifelong efforts to promote international understanding were undone by Vladimir Putin. HOUSE OF NUTTER: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row, by Lance Richardson. (Crown Archetype, $28.) You may not know the name Tommy Nutter, but you should; he was a brilliant tailor who transformed stodgy Savile Row men's wear into flashy, widelapeled suits beloved by the likes of Elton John, the Beatles, Mick Jagger and Diana Ross back in the 1960s and 1970s. SPRING, by Karl Ove Knausgaard. Translated by Ingvild Burkey. (Penguin Press, $27.) This novel, the third of a quartet of books addressed to Knausgaard's youngest child and featuring the author's signature minutely detailed description, recounts a medical emergency and its aftermath. HALF GODS, by Akil Kumarasamy. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) Across decades and continents, the characters in this affecting debut story collection are haunted by catastrophic violence, their emotional scars passed from one generation to the next. STILL LIFE WITH TWO DEAD PEACOCKS AND A GIRL: Poems, by Diane Seuss. (Graywolf, paper, $16.) Death, class, gender and art are among the entwined preoccupations in this marvelously complex and frightening volume. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web: nytimes.com/books


Library Journal Review

It's early 2000 on New York City's Upper East Side, and the alienation of Moshfegh's unnamed young protagonist from others is nearly complete when she initiates her yearlong siesta, during which time she experiences limited personal interactions. Her parents have died; her relationships with her bulimic best friend Reva, an ex-boyfriend, and her drug-pushing psychiatrist are unwholesome. As her pill-popping intensifies, so does her isolation and determination to leave behind the world's travails. She is also beset by dangerous blackouts induced by a powerful medication. Moshfegh is on familiar ground telling a dark story, saturated with a litany of descriptions reminiscent of Brett Easton Ellis's American Psycho. -VERDICT Interest in the narrator's long-lasting sleep trial may diminish before the novel ends, but her story is neither restful nor relaxing. The author's award-winning novel Eileen similarly portrayed a disturbed young woman seeking to escape her existence, but this work is not nearly as dark, though it's certainly as provocative and even occasionally funny. [See Prepub Alert, 1/22/18.]-Faye Chadwell, -Oregon State Univ., Corvallis © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.