A shocking, hilarious and strangely tender novel about a young woman’s experiment in narcotic hibernation aided and abetted by one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature. Our narrator has many of the advantages of life, on the surface, she is young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, who lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like everything else, by her inheritance.
But there is a vacuum at the centre of things, and it isn’t confined to the loss of her parents in college, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her alleged best friend. It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?
This story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs, designed to heal us from our alienation from this world, shows us how reasonable, even necessary, that alienation sometimes is.
Ottessa Moshfegh is an American author and novelist. Her debut novel, Eileen, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and a fiction finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.