Book Review of My Year of Rest and Relaxation, written by Ottessa Moshfegh

Aidan Pesce ’23

 Ottessa Moshfegh is a writer who understands the complexities of living when you don’t want to. Ottessa tackles inner alienation with her main character who seems like she could be the happiest person in the world but in reality is deeply depressed, lazy, and has an insatiable need to be bored.

  She is blonde, skinny, rich, and lives alone in a New York City apartment. Years following her graduation from Columbia University, she finds herself in a rut. With both parents dead and a massive inheritance sitting in her bank account, the unnamed main character decides to take a year off from her strenuous career as an art gallery secretary. She puts her bills on autopay and finds a psychiatrist named Dr. Tuttle to feed her pills so she doesn’t have to feel the dread she is faced with when waking up in the morning. Ottessa – narrating as her main character – writes with such intense emotion and hatred for herself and the world around her that you wonder why the main character is still alive. This is a question you don’t find out the answer to until the end of the book where you will see her addiction to Silencior, Nembutal, Valium, Librium, Placydil, and Noctec. Every pill in the book eats her up inside and consumes her conscious and subconscious thoughts.

  She is lazy. She is nothing. She is all-consumed. And a walking Zombie. She is literally asleep for a year. That’s the book. It will forever be original and a must-read if you want to dive deep into what it’s like to live after a life of familial trauma.