My Year of Rest and Relaxation

By Ottessa Moshfegh

3.68 - ratings 105,886

From one of our boldest, most celebrated new literary voices, a novel about a young woman’s efforts to duck the ills of the world by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes.Our narrator should be happy, shouldn’t she? She’s young, thin, pretty, a recent Colu From one of our boldest, most celebrated new...

Book details

June 25th 2019 by Penguin Books

(first published July 10th 2018)

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Quotes From "My Year of Rest and Relaxation"

"I am overcome by awe, not because she looks like Reva, and I think it’s her, almost exactly her, and not because Reva and I had been friends, or because I’ll never see her again, but because she is beautiful. There she is, a human being, diving into the unknown, and she is wide awake."
"Things were alive. Life buzzed between each shade of green, from dark pines and supple ferns to lime green moss growing on a huge, dry gray rock. Honey locusts and ginkgos aflare in yellows. What was cowardly about the color yellow? Nothing"
"I touched the frame of the painting. And then I placed my whole palm on the dry, rumbling surface of the canvas, simply to prove to myself that there was no god stalking my soul. Time was not immemorial. Things were just things."
"…suddenly I wanted to go back and be in all the places I’d ever been, every street I’d walked down, every room I’d sat down in. I wanted to see it all again. I tried to remember my life, flipping through Polaroids in my mind. . . . But I knew that even if I could go back, if such a thing were possible with exactitude, in life or in dreams, there was really no point."
"The art world had turned out to be like the stock market, a reflection of political trends and the persuasions of capitalism, fueled by greed and gossip and cocaine."
"I lay awake for a long time. It was like sitting in a cinema after the lights go down, waiting for the previews to begin. But nothing was happening. I regretted the coffee."
"Mind over matter, people say. But what is matter, anyway? When you look at it under a microscope, it's just tiny bits of stuff. Atomic particles. Sub-atomic particles. Look deeper and deeper and eventually you'll find nothing. We're mostly empty space. We're mostly nothing. Tra-la-la. And we're all the same nothingness. You and me, just filling the space with nothingness. We could walk through walls if we put our minds to it, people say. What they don't mention is that walking through a wall would most likely kill you. Don't forget that."
"I suppose a part of me wished when I put my key in the door, it would magically open into a different apartment, a different life, a place so bright with joy and excitement that I'd be temporarily blinded when I first saw it. I pictured what a documentary film crew would capture in my face as I glimpsed this whole new world before me, like in those home improvement shows Reva liked to watch when she came over. First, I'd cringe with surprise. But then, once my eyes adjusted to the light, they'd grow wide and glisten with awe. I'd drop the keys and the coffee and wander in, spinning around with my jaw hanging open, shocked at the transformation of my dim, gray apartment into a paradise of realized dreams. But what would it look like exactly? I had no idea. When I tried to imagine this new place, all I could come up with was a cheesy mural of a rainbow, a man in a white bunny costume, a set of dentures in a glass, a huge slice of watermelon on a yellow plate—an odd prediction, maybe, of when I'm ninety-five and losing my mind in an assisted-living facility where they treat the elderly residents like retarded children. I should be so lucky, I thought. I opened the door to my apartment, and, of course, nothing had changed."

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