A whip-smart black comedy for fans of The New Me and My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Named one of the Best Books of the Summer by LitHub, The Millions, Refinery29, and Hey Alma.
'Surprising and irreverent...Be prepared for edginess, dark humor and profanity. The only sweet thing about "Sad Janet" is its cover, which might be the most adorable one I've seen all year' New York Times
'Hilarious, wicked, wise and tender' - Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, bestselling author of The Nest
Meet Janet. Janet is sad. Not about her life, about the world. Have you seen it these days?
The thing is, she's not out to make anyone else sad. She's not turning up to weddings shouting that most marriages end in divorce. She just wants to wear her giant coat, get rid of her passive-aggressive boyfriend, and avoid human interaction at the rundown dog shelter where she works.
That is, until word spreads about a new pill that promises cynics like her one day off from being sad. When her family stages an intervention, and the prospect of making it through Christmas alone seems like too much, Janet finally decides to give them what they want. What follows is life-changing for all concerned - in ways no one quite expects.
Hilarious, provocative and profound, Sad Janet is the antidote to our happiness-obsessed world.
PRAISE FOR SAD JANET:
'If you're a Halle Butler fan or like despair cut with humour, you'll love this' Leigh Stein, author of SELF CARE
'As I was reading this, my partner kept asking why I was laughing. This book is dark and hilarious and will speak to everyone who's ever wondered why they spend time with humans and not just dogs' Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Starling Days and Harmless Like You
'A tragicomic riot of a book - charging, foul-mouthed and tender, across the modern condition' Claudia Dey, author of Heartbreaker
'Try reading Sad Janet ... It might just make you happy' Marcy Demansky, author of Very Nice
'A biting, pitch-perfect novel about one woman's desire to stay true to herself in a world that rewards facile happiness ... a dazzling debut' Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
'The narrative voice of Janet in Britsch's debut novel is a skin-tingling combination of new and necessary' Booklist starred review
'Loved this book... it made me lol via the dark humour and dry observations. An artful take on the "happiness economy"' Emma Gannon, author of Olive
'I loved SAD JANET'S cynical humour. Superbly original, with spot-on one-liners. Brilliantly bleak, but with a spark of hope' Caroline Hulse, author of The Adults
In Britsch's darkly comic debut, a deadpan, abrasive narrator muses on her depression. "There's no word in the English language that properly describes this feeling I have, the one that makes other people uncomfortable," Janet thinks. After getting a degree in postmodern feminist science fiction, Janet takes a job at a dog shelter out in the woods with an equally depressed boss and a slightly sunnier co-worker. Everyone she knows, including her parents and boyfriend, is on one antidepressant or another, and they're all attempting to get Janet, who clings to what she calls her "manageable melancholia," to do the same. What plot there is revolves around whether Janet will take a newly invented pill designed to increase one's appreciation of Christmas 181 days away at the start of the novel, yet heavy on Janet's mind and if she does, if it will work. Meanwhile, she spends her time napping, drinking, and curling up on dog beds pretending to be a dog. Preternaturally self-aware, Janet has a gift for homing in on her own emotional state and everyone else's, which Britsch renders in rueful, knowing prose that may land or miss, depending on if the reader can relate to pronouncements such as "the cool kids call it melancholia, because of that Lars von Trier movie." Still, Britsch's monologue about the experience of unhappiness is undeniably infectious.