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Homesick for Another World: Stories
     

Homesick for Another World: Stories

2.5 2
by Ottessa Moshfegh
 

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An electrifying first collection from one of the most exciting short story writers of our time

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

Overview

An electrifying first collection from one of the most exciting short story writers of our time

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.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/05/2016
In 14 expertly crafted stories, Moshfegh (Eileen) examines characters and situations too weird to be real and too real to be fiction, with themes of alienation, ennui, displacement, sexual neuroses, and addiction. A voyeuristic old man steels his courage to approach the beautiful, aloof woman working at the counter of the local arcade (“Mr. Wu”); an aspiring actor hooked on motivational clichés spins out of control in a breakup saga (“The Weirdos”); a high school English teacher has an on-again/off-again relationship with the drug-dealing “zombies at the bus depot” (“Slumming”); a grieving husband uncovers evidence of his dead wife’s infidelity and explores his own sexuality (“The Beach Boy”); an underachieving suitor embarks on a desperate quest for a cheap ottoman that holds the key to his quixotic romantic endeavors (“Dancing in the Moonlight”). There’s not a throw-away story in the collection. Each resonates with seemingly effortless, ineffable prose, rarely striking an inauthentic note—particularly memorable are the endings, which often land to devastating effect. The author’s acute insight focuses obsessively, uncomfortably, humorously on excreta, effluvia, and human foible, drilling to the core of her characters’ existential dilemmas. Moshfegh is a force. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“Expertly crafted stories…There’s not a throw-away story in the collection. Each resonates with seemingly effortless, ineffable prose, rarely striking an inauthentic note—particularly memorable are the endings, which often land to devastating effect. The author’s acute insight focuses obsessively, uncomfortably, humorously on excreta, effluvia, and human foible, drilling to the core of her characters’ existential dilemmas. Moshfegh is a force.”
Publishers Weekly (starred)
Library Journal
09/01/2016
Drawing on personal experience, National Jewish Book Award winner Kertes (Gratitude) takes us along as brothers Robert and Attila Beck flee Hungary during the 1956 revolution for the Paris townhouse of their great-aunt Hermina.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399562891
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/17/2017
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
73,081
File size:
895 KB

Meet 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.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Homesick for Another World 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
mdemanatee 5 months ago
Really loved the voice of this and willingness to look at the uglier underbelly of the seemingly mundane. And the stories were engaging in an almost voyeuristic way. I didn't like the fat representation. I don't know if it was just the awful characters. But it seemed like a character was called out for being fat as if it were a disgusting character flaw in every story. It got to be offensive. But it also seems lazy when she is so good at crafting complex, flawed characters.
CLynnT 5 months ago
Ottessa Moshfegh does a great job creating the characters in her stories. The plots are simple and to the point, and each story is a quick read. My problem is the content of the stories aren’t something I’m comfortable with. While I enjoyed the character descriptions I detested what the characters did. I enjoy reading about other lifestyles and places, but this one wasn’t enjoyable. I felt like I was in the underbelly of humanity; cheap rooms and rough areas; out late in the night to meet total strangers. While I applaud her writing skills, I didn’t enjoy the content of Moshfegh’s writing. Others should at least give it a try, though. We all have unique opinions. I didn’t enjoy the book but I don’t want to persuade others to avoid it. (I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you to Penguin Press and NetGalley for making it available.)