Ottessa Moshfegh is incomparable! HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD is a collection of stories that are so weird, so darkly hilarious, and so poignant, I found myself veering wildly between the characters' vivid emotions. They are all damaged people who cling to the things that destroy them, who wallow in the ugliness around them, and who view their lives with a sort of detached amusement. Moshfegh's genius lies in her ability to write about those grubby, base subjects in a way that's beautiful, poetic even. Her stories are the gutter and the stars.— Lauren
Sometimes people fall into the gritty, grimy cracks and crevasses of the world and some people go looking for them. They revel in it, they wallow in it, believe it's all they deserve, or they believe that's all the world truly is. Otessa Mosfegh opens up those cracks and crevasses and lets us peer inside. I've never read longing and denial so clearly and devastatingly written. These stories are populated by characters on the fringe, some because they went looking and some because it's all they've ever known, but all of them with an overwhelming sense of displacement, captured in a moment teetering on the edge of tragedy. Homesick for Another World hits all the right notes. It may be the best book this year.— Heather
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017 An electrifying first collection from one of the most exciting short story writers of our time "I can't recall the last time I laughed this hard at a book. Simultaneously, I'm shocked and scandalized. She's brilliant, this young woman."--David Sedaris Ottessa Moshfegh's debut novel Eileen was one of the literary events of 2015. Garlanded with critical acclaim, it was named a book of the year by The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle, nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. But as many critics noted, Moshfegh is particularly held in awe for her short stories. Homesick for Another World is the rare case where an author's short story collection is if anything more anticipated than her novel. And for good reason. There's something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh's stories, something almost dangerous, while also being delightful, and even laugh-out-loud funny. Her characters are all unsteady on their feet in one way or another; they all yearn for connection and betterment, though each in very different ways, but they are often tripped up by their own baser impulses and existential insecurities. Homesick for Another World is a master class in the varieties of self-deception across the gamut of individuals representing the human condition. But part of the unique quality of her voice, the echt Moshfeghian experience, is the way the grotesque and the outrageous are infused with tenderness and compassion. Moshfegh is our Flannery O'Connor, and Homesick for Another World is her Everything That Rises Must Converge or A Good Man is Hard to Find. 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 powerfully invigorating. We're in the hands of an author with a big mind, a big heart, blazing chops, and a political acuity that is needle-sharp. The needle hits the vein before we even feel the prick.
About the Author
Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from New England. Her first book, McGlue, a novella, won the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the Believer Book Award. Her short stories have been published in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Granta, and have earned her a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, the Plimpton Discovery Prize, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Eileen, her first novel, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction.