By Ottessa Moshfegh,

Book cover of Eileen

Book description

Shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize and chosen by David Sedaris as his recommended book for his Fall 2016 tour.

So here we are. My name was Eileen Dunlop. Now you know me. I was twenty-four years old then, and had a job that paid fifty-seven dollars a week…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Eileen as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Moshfegh’s first novel opens with the narrator “very unhappy and angry all the time.” She is the sinister version of SNL’s Mary Catherine Gallagher, unflinchingly honest, acerbically observant, self-absorbed, and in love with her own nastiness. “Didn’t she know I was a monster, a creep, a crone? How dare she mock me with courtesy when I deserved to be greeted with disgust and dismay?” Though she becomes obsessed with beautiful Rebecca, it’s the caustic Eileen we can’t look away from, no matter how much we might want to.

From Madeline's list on in protest of women’s “likability”.

In her debut novel, Moshfegh explores the dark corners of 24-year-old Eileen Dunlop’s disturbed mind with gorgeous prose. The narrator, an older and more self-aware Eileen, traces her younger self’s complex relationship with her alcoholic father and a dead-end job at all boys’ prison. She is self-loathing, transgressive, and deeply human. When she meets Rebecca St. John, an attractive and cheerful new counselor, she becomes enchanted with her, a bit of light in the darkness. Ultimately, it’s a novel about how far we’ll go to escape both a bad situation and, even more chillingly, ourselves.

From John's list on slow burn psychological suspense.

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