Eileen (out of print)
The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop, an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between her role as her alcoholic fatherâe(tm)s carer in his squalid home and her day job as a secretary at the boysâe(tm) prison, filled with its own quotidian horrors. Consumed by resentment and self-loathing, Eileen tempers her dreary days with perverse fantasies and dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, she fills her nights and weekends with shoplifting, stalking a handsome prison guard named Randy, and cleaning up her increasingly deranged fatherâe(tm)s messes. When the beautiful, charismatic Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counselor at the prison, Eileen is enchanted and unable to resist what appears to be a miraculously budding friendship. In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca ultimately pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings.
Played out against the snowy landscape of coastal New England, blending true noir and the eerie, unforgettable books of Shirley Jackson and Flannery Oâe(tm)Connor, this mesmeric, terrifying, sublimely funny debut novel enthralls and shocks, and introduces one of the most original new voices in contemporary literature.
A mordant story of obsession and suspense, by one of the brightest new voices in American fiction
Long-listed for CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2016.
"Fully lives up to the hype. A taut psychological thriller, rippled with comedy as black as a raven's wing, Eileen is effortlessly stylish and compelling." -- Robert Douglas-Fairhurst The Times "Captivating... That she's a writer of rare talent and assurance is evident from the start of Eileen: the sentences unspool effortlessly, almost casually, though the material is dark and psychologically complex. The writing is shot through with lovely observation and detail... It's a testament to Moshfegh's skill that she can capture such extremes of light and shadow and, moreover, make us care about a woman who is, in so many ways, intensely dislikeable." -- William Skidelsky Financial Times "Perverse, squalid and sinister...expertly paced novel... [A] bravura display of misdirection makes for a guessing game with a genuinely nasty payoff... [Moshfegh] delivers a thumping finish to match the build-up: a single line near the end has the effect of a thunderbolt, leaving us dumbstruck by her sly, almost wicked storytelling genius." -- Anthony Cummins Daily Telegraph "Perverse, squalid and sinister...expertly paced novel... [A] bravura display of misdirection makes for a guessing game with a genuinely nasty payoff... [Moshfegh] delivers a thumping finish to match the build-up: a single line near the end has the effect of a thunderbolt, leaving us dumbstruck by her sly, almost wicked storytelling genius." -- Anthony Cummins Daily Telegraph "There's something far more grubby and gritty here than one expects... Not afraid to peer into the darkest and dirtiest corners of her characters' lives, Moshfegh has proved herself an audacious talent, and without doubt one to watch." -- Lucy Scholes Independent "Moshfegh is a writer of significant control and range... What distinguishes her writing is that unnamable quality that makes a new writer's voice, against all odds and the deadening surround of lyrical postures, sound unique." -- Jeffrey Eugenides "A sucker punch of a novel, full of fury and disgust, heart-wrenching in places, a masterclass in mood and tone. Eileen is a fantastic creation and a surprisingly satisfying antidote to the dozy and complacent heroines of much so-called literary fiction." -- Julie Myerson "A seductive novel...Moshfegh writes beautiful sentences. One after the other they unwind - playful, shocking, wise, morbid, witty, searingly sharp. The beginning of this novel is so impressive, so controlled yet whimsical, fresh and thrilling, you feel she can do anything." -- New York Times "In the literary world...Ottessa Moshfegh is seen as a comer, perhaps even the Next Big Thing. Eileen is a remarkable piece of writing, always dark and surprising, sometimes ugly and occasionally hilarious... Trust me, you have never read anything remotely like Eileen." -- Washington Post "An unforgettable new American voice." -- Los Angeles Times "Excellent...a taut, well-written, and completely engrossing novel...culminating in a dynamite ending." Boston Globe "Mesmerising...A masterly psychological drama that lingers, with a disquieting effect, in the reader's mind." -- Newsday "A shadowy and superbly told story." -- (starred) Kirkus Reviews "A very impressive debut novel." Bookseller "Superb storytelling." -- Anthony Cummins Sunday Telegraph "The story is utterly compelling." -- Anita Sethi Mail on Sunday "Nail-biting climax." -- John Harding Daily Mail "A story that is constantly surprising, occasionally hilarious, but undoubtedly dark... Embrace its unsettling hedonism." UK Press Syndication "Thrilling to read." Gloucestershire Echo "Moshfegh's writings stands out in several spectacular ways... In detail and texture the world she creates is unsettlingly vivid: a considerable achievement for a writer born so long after the era she depicts... Eileen's anger and frustration dominate her story, helping to create a seamless mood of menace... Moshfegh's debut novel is set to attain classic status within the thriller genre." -- Peter Carty UK Press Syndication "An impressive character study full of subtle nuances, shrouded in mystery." Western Mail "Eileen is an accomplished, disturbing and creepily funny first novel... Moshfegh's control of tone and pace is masterly, her ventriloquism impeccable, and the period detail unobtrusively spot-on. I was occasionally reminded of Nabokov and Lena Dunham, among others, but her voice is her own, and immensely promising." -- Lewis Jones Spectator "Moshfegh's fine, clear, short sentences carry complex thought and emotional revelation effortlessly." -- Joanna Biggs London Review of Books "The great power of this book...is that Eileen is never simply a literary gargoyle; she is painfully alive and human, and Ottessa Moshfegh writes her with a bravura wildness that allows flights of expressionistic fantasy to alternate with deadpan matter of factness... As a character study, the book is a remarkable tour de force... As an evocation of physical and psychological squalor, Eileen is original courageous and masterful. Moshfegh never panders." -- Sandra Newman Guardian