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Thread: The Works of Ottessa Moshfegh, touted by the The New York Times ..

  1. #1
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    Wink The Works of Ottessa Moshfegh, touted by the The New York Times ..

    Ottessa Moshfegh, touted by the The New York Times and other big-name publications as the next big thing in American literature, has an MFA from Brown. She has published a half-dozen short stories in the Paris Review which have now been released in book form and has had two other short stories published in the New Yorker, The Beach Boy and An Honest Woman. Her first novel McGlue (2014) was very well received and her second, Eileen (2016) created a big sensation; it sent the entire American literary establishment into full genuflecting mode. At present count it has 2,019 reviews, mostly positive, on goodreads.

    Reviewers have called her writing fiction-noir, creepily funny, or fascinating because of her talent for making repugnant characters interesting. But everyone agrees she writes extraordinarily well.

    What do you think? Is she a flash in the pan? Or the writer who is going to set the tone in American literature for the next decade?

    P.S.: If you haven't read anything by Moshfegh yet, try her New Yorker short story The Beach Boy, Here is a link:

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20.../the-beach-boy
    Last edited by Geoffrey Fowler; 05-22-2017 at 01:42 AM.

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    I...I'm not sure how to react to this post.

    One thing I'm sure of, this is not a "basic writing question", and shouldn't be here. It's possible real homes are either in short fiction, or contemporary literature, or the round table, or even the office party, but definitely not here.

    Given how the overall tone is that of a well-meaning aunt proud with her niece's literary accomplishments (and may she have many more!), perhaps the best advice I can give would be to lurk around some more, get to know the communication modes here a little better, and in the meantime--perhaps make a fan page elsewhere for the author in question, or even place in the signature a link to her books or something, if that's what it takes.

    AW is a great place and I hope the OP will find it useful and at later point, like all of us, will try to pay the accumulated knowledge forward to new members.
    Last edited by JCornelius; 05-21-2017 at 11:44 AM.

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    practical experience, FTW neandermagnon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCornelius View Post
    I...I'm not sure how to react to this post.

    One thing I'm sure of, this is not a "basic writing question", and shouldn't be here. It's possible real homes are either in short fiction, or contemporary literature, or the round table, or even the office party, but definitely not here.

    Given how the overall tone is that of a well-meaning aunt proud with her niece's literary accomplishments (and may she have many more!),
    It didn't read that way to me, as the OP said he left a review which was "anything but positive". I agree the thread doesn't belong here though. And I'm not sure what the purpose of the thread is, as it comes across like "I think this writer is massively overrated" - why does that opinion about one specific writer need a whole thread dedicated to it?

    ETA: that said, I googled her as I hadn't heard of her before, and now I'm interested in having a read and see if I like her books. It's at times like this that I love the fact I live right opposite the library
    Last edited by neandermagnon; 05-21-2017 at 12:26 PM.
    my blog - cave people and stuff - an imaginative look at palaeolithic life: http://cavepeopleandstuff.wordpress.com/

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    I'm new here so I created this thread under “Novels.” It didn't seem a bad idea at the time. But now … I can't bear to think about it. If there is a way deleting a thread I'd love to know how.

    There is a bright side to this, though, I've been able get at least one member interested in someone who many consider the most exiting new American author.
    Last edited by Geoffrey Fowler; 05-21-2017 at 09:25 PM.

  6. #6
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey Fowler View Post
    I'm new here so I created this thread under “Novels.” It didn't seem a bad idea at the time. But now … I can't bear to think about it. If there is a way deleting a thread I'd love to know how.
    It's a big board; mistakes happen more often than you'd think. As long as they're mistakes made with good intention, you're probably okay. And generally, threads aren't deleted except for a very narrow set of circumstances, but - again - this one doesn't need to be. Tone can be hard to parse in textual communication.

    I took your post to be that of someone who didn't understand the appeal of a new writer with a big push behind her, and someone who was trying to get another take on that writer to maybe understand it better.

    That happens pretty often, too, btw. Sometimes, it's because a huge deal leads to a lot of hype that media outlets pick up as proof of a burgeoning trend. Others, it's because the person writing the article took a liking to the writer's work. Others, it's because a mega-hit came out of nowhere and so obviously this is THE THING that will consume readers' every waking hour for the foreseeable future.

    I've never heard of the writer you mentioned, so I can't comment on her work, but opinions are subjective; even opinions that may be shared by millions. And those million-strong opinions are no more valid than those held by fifteen people who disagree. The million may get more print space, but the fifteen are still valid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey Fowler View Post
    I'm new here so I created this thread under “Novels.” It didn't seem a bad idea at the time. But now … I can't bear to think about it. If there is a way deleting a thread I'd love to know how.
    Stuff is moved for a lot of reasons. There's a reference to that in the Newbie Guide.

    Often it's because the thread doesn't quite fit, or it fits better somewhere else.

    There's no reason not to talk about Moshfegh's writing. What worked for you? What didn't? Would you read something else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyia View Post
    I took your post to be that of someone who didn't understand the appeal of a new writer with a big push behind her, and someone who was trying to get another take on that writer to maybe understand it better.
    Spot on! You're really good at reading between the lines. I really do like Moshfegh, but I found the unanimous and fulsome praise that her novel Eileen elicited suspicious; in this case reviewers were behaving like cheerleaders, not critics, something that is now not uncommon. If you're interested in seeing how really good this gal writes, take a look at her short story The Beach Boy on the New Yorker. Here is the link:

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20.../the-beach-boy
    Last edited by Geoffrey Fowler; 05-22-2017 at 01:32 AM.

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    practical experience, FTW neandermagnon's Avatar
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    Apologies if I misunderstood what the thread was about. It belongs in this bit of the forum

    I read the story you linked to. Great story and a great voice. Thanks
    my blog - cave people and stuff - an imaginative look at palaeolithic life: http://cavepeopleandstuff.wordpress.com/

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