Ottessa Moshfegh will appear at Ada Books on September 22nd at 6 pm for a reading of her new critically acclaimed book, Eileen. Afterward, Moshfegh will sign copies of her book and offer a Q&A session.
The novel flows through the distinctive voice of Moshfegh’s narrator, “a lonely young woman working in a boys’ prison outside Boston in the early 60s.” Over the course of the story, Eileen becomes implicated in a peculiar crime.
The New York Times Sunday Review of Books writes: “Through Eileen, Moshfegh is exploring a woman’s relationship to her body: the disconnection, the cultural claims, the male prerogative. “And at the time, I didn’t believe my body was really mine to navigate. I figured that was what men were for.” As a result, physical urges, particularly desire, repulse Eileen.”
Read Moshfegh’s interview on Electric Literature:
EL: I wonder if you remember the debate over unlikeable characters—if women are always expected to write likeable characters, and so on. Do you have some hope for how your book might engage with that debate?
OM: I hope that people might see how ridiculously sexist that is. And it’s so boring. As an artist, I say fuck that debate. Let’s be done with it. The notion of likeability is a concern that the book industry has because there are people who read to feel nothing—people who read in order to check out. They don’t want to be disturbed by the words that they’re reading. They’re scared. The moment they feel challenged, they put down the book and review it on Amazon, “I just couldn’t get into this; it was too dark.” So when you’re selling a book and you say, this might have an effect on you, it turns off cowardly readers. I’m not concerned with those readers. It’s not my job to please people who can’t tolerate anything but lukewarm baths.