My Year of Rest and Relaxation


Ottessa Moshfegh’s 2018 novel, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, follows the existence of an unnamed narrator as she attempts a kind of hibernation thanks to prescription medications. Living on the Upper East Side in a pre-9/11 NYC, the antihero protagonist is a beautiful Columbia graduate who works at an art gallery, but feels alienated—and her solution to this feeling is total isolation. A story that sounds devastating when summarized as above, My Year of Rest and Relaxation is darkly funny, tender, insightful and entirely engaging.