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Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
  

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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016.

Shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2016.

A young woman relentlessly drives through the darkness of the American roads. Is she fleeing from a misdemeanour? Is she on a mission? Slowly, the pieces of her past come together for the reader to assemble a troubled story where apportioning the blame for some tragic events becomes a most murky business. Allusive, elegant, highly poetic in its evocation of the sounds and spells of night and offering disturbing insights into the confused minds of lost women, this is a striking debut from a young US writer whose reputation has been carved in small literary magazines. The criminal element is muted and the single, unassuming parts knit together to form an unexpected whole and define a character that will stay in your mind for a long time afterwards. Demonstrates crime writing is not always necessarily about bodies and killers and imperfect investigators. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

Chair of the Man Booker 2016 judges Amanda Foreman commented: "This is a very exciting year. The range of books is broad and the quality extremely high. Each novel provoked intense discussion and, at times, passionate debate, challenging our expectations of what a novel is and can be. It is a longlist to be relished.”

The shortlist was announced on 13th September, and the winner will ultimately be named on 25th October, at a black-tie dinner at London’s Guildhall, as broadcast by the BBC.

Played out against the snowy landscape of coastal New England, blending true noir and the eerie, unforgettable books of Shirley Jackson and Flannery O'Connor, this mesmeric, terrifying, sublimely funny debut novel enthralls and shocks, and introduces one of the most original new voices in contemporary literature.

Synopsis

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop. Trapped between caring for her alcoholic father and her job as a secretary at the boys' prison, she tempers her dreary days with dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, her nights and weekends are filled with shoplifting and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father's messes. When the beautiful, charismatic Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counsellor at the prison, Eileen is enchanted, unable to resist what appears to be a miraculously budding friendship. But soon, Eileen's affection for Rebecca will pull her into a crime that far surpasses even her own wild imagination.

Reviews

'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

'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

'An unforgettable new American voice.' Los Angeles Times

'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

'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

About the Author

Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from Boston. She was awarded the Plimpton Prize for her stories in The Paris Review and granted a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her novel Eileen was awarded the 2016 Pen/Hemingway Award.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th August 2016

Author

Ottessa Moshfegh

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    recommendations

Publisher

Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Paperback
272 pages

Categories

Thriller / Suspense
All Shortlists and Winners
Crime / Mystery
Man Booker 2016
Maxim Jakubowski's Selection
2016 CWA Daggers
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781784701468

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