2020 Longlist

My Year of Rest and Relaxation


2020 Longlist

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.

About the Author

Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from Boston. Her first book, the novella, McGlue, won the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the Believer Book Award. Her novel Eileen was awarded the 2016 Pen/Hemingway Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her collection of stories, Homesick for Another World, was published in 2017.

Librarian’s Comments

Moshfegh is one of the most interesting contemporary American writers, who in this her second novel, seeks to explore the themes of alienation. The main character, a young and affluent New Yorker has experienced the loss of both her parents and has a complex relationship with her Wall Street boyfriend and also with her best friend. She decides to take enough prescription drugs in order to sleep for a year. The novel is a mixture of dark humour and merciless compassion, a must read!  Cork City Libraries, Ireland

In prose that is almost without affect, Moshfegh brings to life the narcissistic world of  pre-911 New York as she depicts the main character’s unusual decision to escape all she sees and feels around her by going to sleep for a year. This is a darkly comic novel that achieves redemption against all odds. San Diego Public Library, USA

Moshfegh’s writing is witty and intensely dark. Her protagonist does what I believe many twenty year old somethings do, but while many of us sleep-walk through our day, her character simply sleeps for an entire year. LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System, USA



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