Admin

Posted by

Allen Adams Allen Adams
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

edge staff writer

Share

‘Homesick for Another World’ bleak, beautiful

Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Short story collection finds the exquisite within the unpleasant

When reading a collection of short stories, one often discovers a bit of variance in terms of overall quality. That is, there will be a story or two or three that really sing, inspiring deep-felt and ongoing reactions, while others never quite achieve that same sort of resonance. It’s not a reflection on overall quality, per se; more like a breadth of literary impact.

Reading Ottessa Moshfegh’s “Homesick for Another World” (Penguin, $26) is something else entirely. This is a collection that lashes out with dexterous prose and narrative surprise. These narratives are constantly peeling back the layers of the human condition, pulling away the facades and revealing an underneath that is often unsettling and/or unpleasant. The 14 stories here are representative of an author considered by many to be among the finest writers of short fiction currently working.

“Bettering Myself” leads the collection off, introducing the reader to a broken teacher possessed of questionable motivation and even more questionable judgment. “Malibu” illustrates the self-destructive tendencies of a young woman untethered to any real sense of true want. With “No Place for Good People,” Moshfegh gives us a portrait of a man doing something seemingly altruistic for selfish reasons, maintaining an underlying sense of superiority regarding the developmentally disabled adults for whom he cares.

“Strange Woman” looks at the mindset of an older man’s developing fascination with a female neighbor that quickly devolves into a quagmire of creepy self-delusion, while “The Surrogate” is an odd tale of a young woman hired to serve as the face of a company due to the business’s Asian owner fearing discrimination on the part of potential partners. In “The Locked Room,” we bear witness to the ugliness that can spring from the unwanted acceleration of intimacy due to uncontrollable and unanticipated outside influences.

And so on and so forth.

Moshfegh’s work largely defies traditional summary; attempting to synopsize the myriad textual and subtextual facets of these stories simply cannot do them justice. Even more than most well-wrought literature, these tales transcend plot; they contain legions. The sophisticated characterization and thematic depth on display here is inescapable.

The reality is that most if not all of Moshfegh’s protagonists – one struggles to call them “heroes” – are fundamentally broken; that brokenness manifests itself in ways that range from mildly off-putting to outright disturbing.

Moshfegh is unafraid to embrace the visceral aspects of that brokenness, either – there’s a recurring grossness that is both physical and emotional. Unhygienic imagery – dirty fingernails and body odor and squeezed pustules are abundant – meshes with constantly-exposed personality flaws and creates intimate portraits that are queasily compelling despite their inherent nastiness.

Mining beauty from the unbeautiful is one of the more difficult things an artist can attempt, yet Moshfegh accomplishes the feat with ease. The readability of these stories is such that they generate a sort of car-crash compulsion – one simply cannot look away. Rendered in exquisitely scattershot prose such as this, even the darkest shadows invite our inspection. Every single one of these pieces not only scoffs at all that is the literary anodyne, but actively, almost gleefully undercuts it.

“Homesick for Another World” is challenging, confrontational work. Each one of these stories shines with a cracked-mirror bleakness that slices the reader to the emotional quick. And all 14 of Moshfegh’s final lines leave us wrung-out and strained … and eager to tackle the next one. 

Last modified on Wednesday, 25 January 2017 18:58

27 comments

  • Comment Link lose weight fast Saturday, 09 December 2017 22:42 posted by lose weight fast

    Very good material compared to many of the other subject material I've read. Keep up the good work.

  • Comment Link Isaenyatox Tuesday, 05 December 2017 23:27 posted by Isaenyatox

    wieviel cialis kosten

    cialis super active

    cialis online

    order cialis now

  • Comment Link Richardboume Saturday, 02 December 2017 11:15 posted by Richardboume

    Hawaii ID
    id novelty on
    Georgia ID
    how to get fake id
    flordia id
    id card style
    buy fake id
    get a fake id
    us ID Wisconsin
    west virginia id

    [email protected]#usid

  • Comment Link Ewatox Thursday, 30 November 2017 21:18 posted by Ewatox

    overnight uk cialis buy online

    generic cialis online

    buy cialis

    vente cialis directe canada

  • Comment Link Harounfaic Wednesday, 29 November 2017 14:39 posted by Harounfaic

    Site Vente Levitra Fiable levitra on line sale Efectos De Kamagra

  • Comment Link Floydrhild Sunday, 26 November 2017 15:59 posted by Floydrhild

    Palladium Boots Kopen
    No matter what you might be creating, season the foodstuff that you are food preparation at the beginning of the procedure, during the process and at the conclusion of it. Progressive seasoning of each part will get the most from your recipe's components and will give your completed merchandise, the most volume of flavor.

    https://www.converseschoenenkopen.nl/images/sie2/598-all-stars-grijs-laag-sale.jpg

    With any luck ,, this information has established your vision towards the many things you can do to adopt power over allergic reaction and quit being a servant for their signs and symptoms. After some research and persistence, you ought to quickly have more entry doors in life available that allergic reactions were actually keeping shut down. Appreciate!Useful Ideas For Individuals That Are Afflicted By Allergies

    https://www.oorde.nl/images/bsb2/11434-nike-air-jordan-eclipse.jpg

  • Comment Link Swetlanatox Tuesday, 21 November 2017 17:45 posted by Swetlanatox

    vente ligne viagra

    online viagra

    viagra online

    compra viagra en sevilla

  • Comment Link Igortox Sunday, 19 November 2017 07:51 posted by Igortox

    pharmacy cialis

    http://cialisbuyhaq.com/ - cialis

    cialis online

    ga cialis for sale

  • Comment Link Igortox Saturday, 18 November 2017 16:50 posted by Igortox

    achat cialis pharmacie france

    buy cialis

    buy cialis

    20 effects cialis

  • Comment Link Lyubatox Saturday, 18 November 2017 03:37 posted by Lyubatox

    viagra online 601 602 603 604

    buy generic viagra

    buy viagra online

    yahoo viagra sicuro

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 Next > End >>

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.
Basic HTML code is allowed.

Advertisements

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine