On one hand, I could praise Ottessa Moshfegh for the risks she takes: the confidence to frame her novel around such a decidedly sedentary character, the flamboyant discussion of bodily sensations (or drugged lack of sensation), and the gall to set the novel at perhaps the most eerily pregnant moment in New York City history. On the other hand, I could praise her for her unbelievable sense of humor -- she should receive some kind of medal for creating Dr. Tuttle, “the only psychiatrist to answer the phone at eleven at night on a Tuesday”, whose every sentence is a bizarre punchline. Instead, I’ll praise her for deploying those tools, as caustically she does, for a most unique, hard-won sense of empathy. I was not prepared for how emotionally overwhelming this book would become, and I’m left even more amazed than before by Moshfegh’s quickly growing collection of masterworks.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation - Ottessa Moshfegh