The June choice for the Quiet Place Book Club
There's something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh's stories, something almost dangerous while also being delightful - and often even weirdly hilarious.
"The characters in this collection are an unlovely bunch but make for an irresistible read... She writes terrific, attention-grabbing openings, and impactful last lines that don't strain for a lapidary effect. Her damaged-girl deadpan snark is second to none, but she inhabits other character types with ease." - Christopher Taylor, Financial Times
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.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing