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The Crack Magazine

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My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh

During the miserable winter months, I think it’s natural to be jealous of animals that hibernate. Why can’t we cosy ourselves away, ignore work and escape the cold weather for a few months? Ottessa Moshfegh’s second novel follows a woman who does just that. Since the pandemic started, there are some novels that became more significant with hindsight, and this is one of them. The unnamed narrator realises she is a product of a vapid, materialistic society and decides to kill off this person by sleeping as much as she physically can for a year. You’d be forgiven for questioning how a novel about someone sleeping could be interesting, but the narrator’s battle against the version of herself she’s known for so long — the one who shops online and texts her awful ex-boyfriend in her sleep – makes it one of the most interesting and entertaining books about human nature I’ve read. MG


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