Ottessa Moshfegh on Isolated Characters Growing Anywhere

March 22, 2021

At Vox, Ottessa Moshfegh discusses her 2018 book, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, and how it has taken on a life of its own during the pandemic. “Everyone I know has gone through an internal transformation,” Moshfegh says, “And that makes perfect sense. That’s why I write about isolated characters — so they can have a deeper relationship with themselves in the course of the novel. That’s why I’m slightly antisocial to begin with, too. I spend a lot of time having to figure out what’s going on inside. […] In a time where there has been so much trauma and loss, it was a silver lining. Humanity finds purpose where it can. It’s like flowers growing out of the cracks in the sidewalk. People can grow anywhere. That is beautiful.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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