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An electrifying, prizewinning first collection from the Booker-shortlisted author

The debut short story collection by the author of Eileen, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016.

There’s something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh’s stories, something almost dangerous while also being delightful – and often even weirdly hilarious. Her characters are all unsteady on their feet; all yearning for connection and betterment, in very different ways, but each of them seems destined to be tripped up by their own baser impulses. What makes these stories so moving is the emotional balance that Moshfegh achieves – the way she exposes the limitless range of self-deception that human beings can employ while, at the same time, infusing the grotesque and outrageous with tenderness and compassion. The flesh is weak; the timber is crooked; people are cruel to each other, and stupid, and hurtful, but beauty comes from strange sources, and the dark energy surging through these stories is oddly and powerfully invigorating.

Moshfegh has been compared to Flannery O’Connor, Jim Thompson, Shirley Jackson and Patricia Highsmith but her voice and her mastery of language and tone are unique. One of the most gifted and exciting young writers in America, she shows us uncomfortable things, and makes us look at them forensically – until we find, suddenly, that we are really looking at ourselves.

Reviews

Razor-sharp short stories.

Zadie Smith

Moshfegh is consistently as sparky and gripping as she is inventive… She could become one of the most outstanding US writers of her generation.

Peter Carty

The characters in this collection are an unlovely bunch but make for an irresistible read… She writes terrific, attention-grabbing openings, and impactful last lines that don’t strain for a lapidary effect. Her damaged-girl deadpan snark is second to none, but she inhabits other character types with ease.

Christopher Taylor, Financial Times

She can really write and has a pitch-black sense of humour.

Phil Baker, Sunday Times

Moshfegh’s writing is cinematic – vivid, immediate.

Gwendoline Riley, Times Literary Supplement

Moshfegh’s powerful, pristine prose shines a light on the dark side of these characters […] Her endings are never happy, but they often contain hope – which can be more convincing.

Christena Appleyard, Daily Mail

Moshfegh delights in exploring the seamy underside of life… Once encountered these characters are not easily forgotten.

Bookseller

An impressive study of human vulnerability and self-deception, through which the reader is guided by a cynical and darkly funny literary voice.

Nathan Smith, 1843 Magazine

Homesick for Another World showcases her mastery.

Time Magazine (Europe)

A perfect showcase to Moshfegh’s brilliant and sui generis mind… brilliant as was Eileen, Moshfegh is near virtuosic in short story form, and newcomers to her work would do well to begin with this collection.

Michael Barron, Culture Trip

Dark, confident, prickling stories… [Moshfegh] has a wicked sort of command. Sampling her sentences is like touching a mildly electrified fence… Moshfegh is a penetrating observer of class and social mores… Do not come to these stories if your own guts are easily stirred.

Dwight Garner, New York Times

In her excellent first collection, Homesick for Another World, Ottessa Moshfegh… homes in on characters in states of weirdly dynamic paralysis, trapped between the pains of the past – bad childhoods, bad relationships, bad marriages – and dreams of the future… The stories… give us a sense of watching a fluent, deeply talented artist extend herself and take risks in her quest to master the form… Magnificent examples of how a short story can become expansive beyond expectation.

David Means, Gulf News

Provocative… Moshfegh presents characters who evince a flinching disgust for bodily functions and human intimacy. There’s no shortage of colourful sociopaths here… The stories draw a picture of an America that has lost its way, a bigoted, insular nation in the grip of an obesity epidemic... It’s a bracing, brilliant collection.

Jude Cook, Literary Review

Moshfegh’s style is a blend of nihilism and drollery that feels hyper-contemporary in its relentless sassiness, moving in the same breath from biting human observation to casual one liners about anal sex.

Tom Fleming, The Spectator

Efforts to contrive a sensationalist buzz around the author are not surprising. But Moshfegh needs no extra edge. Her works make enough of an impression, and they are exceptional: dark, violent and grotesquely intelligent. This new story collection, Homesick for Another World, is probably her most accomplished work to date, and it does not scrimp on obscenity, on esoteric rituals, or on harsh, uncomfortable realities… These stories paint a stunningly unique picture of contemporary disenchantment that goes beyond glassy-eyed millennial ennui.

Gill Moore, Totally Dublin

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9780224101349

    January 3, 2017

    Jonathan Cape

    304 pages

    RRP $39.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473522725

    January 5, 2017

    Vintage Digital

    304 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

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Eileen

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