Author(s): Ottessa Moshfegh
The debut short story collection by the author of Eileen, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016. There's something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh's stories, something almost dangerous while also being delightful - and often even weirdly hilarious. 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. Moshfegh has been compared to Flannery O'Connor, Jim Thompson, Shirley Jackson and Patricia Highsmith but her voice and her mastery of language and tone are unique. 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.
"Razor-sharp short stories." Zadie Smith "Moshfegh is consistently as sparky and gripping as she is inventive... She could become one of the most outstanding US writers of her generation." -- Peter Carty i "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 "She can really write and has a pitch-black sense of humour." -- Phil Baker Sunday Times "Moshfegh's writing is cinematic - vivid, immediate." -- Gwendoline Riley Times Literary Supplement "Moshfegh's powerful, pristine prose shines a light on the dark side of these characters [...] Her endings are never happy, but they often contain hope - which can be more convincing." -- Christena Appleyard Daily Mail "Moshfegh delights in exploring the seamy underside of life... Once encountered these characters are not easily forgotten." Bookseller "An impressive study of human vulnerability and self-deception, through which the reader is guided by a cynical and darkly funny literary voice." -- Nathan Smith 1843 Magazine "Homesick for Another World showcases her mastery." Time Magazine (Europe) "A perfect showcase to Moshfegh's brilliant and sui generis mind... brilliant as was Eileen, Moshfegh is near virtuosic in short story form, and newcomers to her work would do well to begin with this collection." -- Michael Barron Culture Trip
Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from Boston. 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. One of the stories in this collection, 'Slumming', recently won an O. Henry Award. Her novel Eileen was awarded the 2016 Pen/Hemingway Award and is shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.