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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
At the center of Ottessa Moshfegh’s dark comedy is a troubled young woman who’s escaping her NYC existence—by going nowhere. Moshfegh’s heroine isn’t even given a name, but you get to know her remarkably well as she navigates her year of self-imposed hibernation and medication. What’s her deal? While she’s young and wealthy, her parents are dead (not a spoiler), her relationships are terrible, and her shrink is the actual worst. Through her character’s hazy eyes, Moshfegh captures the turn-of-the-millennium apathy that made “living the dream” a dubious achievement.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Dark & Wonderful
I couldn’t put it down. A beautifully written novel that had my eyes skipping down the page in order to find out what terrible inevitability was waiting for the main character as she descended into self-destruction.
Read this book if you feel like being depressed for a little while. You have to be in the type of mood to dig it. It’s easy to read and easy to understand why she feels the need to isolate herself. I’m sure we all wish we had the luxury to sleep for a year to heal ourselves. It’s does leave you with a certain type of hope at the end though.
I picked this book because I felt I could relate to the main character’s feelings and predicament, but this book barely scratched the surface of what I was hoping to understand isolation as a form of self-care.