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Sleep through it

Anne Diebel: Ottessa Moshfegh

13 September 2018
My Year of Rest and Relaxation 
by Ottessa Moshfegh.
Cape, 288 pp., £12.99, July 2018, 978 1 78733 041 2
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Homesick for Another World 
by Ottessa Moshfegh.
Cape, 277 pp., £9.99, January 2018, 978 1 78470 150 5
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... OttessaMoshfegh​ likes to write about ugliness. Many of her characters are physically unattractive, and fixated on their defects. The narrator of Eileen, Moshfegh’s second novel, published in 2016, is fond of staring in the mirror, examining her ‘jagged’ figure with its ‘unwieldy’ flesh, her face marked with ‘soft, rumbling acne scars’, her ...

Under Her Buttons

Joanna Biggs: Ottessa Moshfegh

30 March 2016
Eileen 
by Ottessa Moshfegh.
Cape, 260 pp., £16.99, March 2016, 978 0 224 10255 1
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... supposed to want to look at you, few listen to you. (Eileen knows, under her buttons, that they’ll listen to you still less if you refuse to be looked at.) It’s a peculiar sort of trap – and in OttessaMoshfegh’s fiction there are better or worse entrapments, but there is no not being trapped. The divorcée in her short story ‘Bettering Myself’, which won the Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize ...

Excessive Weeping

Lauren Oyler: Nicole Flattery’s Stories

10 October 2019
Show Them a Good Time 
by Nicole Flattery.
Bloomsbury, 238 pp., £14.99, March, 978 1 5266 1190 1
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... refreshingly obliterative, realistically distorted. The disaffected young woman has replaced the disaffected young man as semaphore for social problems, but while many recent authors – among them OttessaMoshfegh, Halle Butler and Catherine Lacey – have attempted to evoke the depths of hopelessness plumbed in the last decade or two, Flattery’s nihilism is uniquely uncynical; she actually seems to ...

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