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A Virtual Evening With Ottessa Moshfegh Discussing Death in Her Hands, Moderated by Cristina Nosti

Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 7:30 pm

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Books & Books and Miami Book Fair present “A Virtual  Evening With Ottessa Moshfegh” Discussing Death in Her Hands

Ottessa Moshfegh’s reputation as one of our most talented and daring writers grows every year. And we know why. It’s because she is always transforming right before our eyes. Her newest novel hums with the kind of Hitchcockian suspense and horror of her critically-acclaimed debut Eileen, with another unreliable female narrator who bears the psychic scars of a long life. It’s hard to believe this is the same writer who gave us My Year of Rest and Relaxation just a few years ago. Ottessa is an artist who doesn’t much care about whether or not you like her but is instead “focused on accessing the spiritual corners of her being through narrative.” (New York Times). 

About the Book: 

Death in Her Hands opens with our protagonist on her normal daily walk with her dog in the nearby forest woods. She comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground with a frame of stones. Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body. Her brooding about this note quickly grows into a full-blown obsession, and she begins to devote herself to exploring the possibilities of her conjectures about who this woman was and how she met her fate. Her suppositions begin to find echoes in the real world, and with mounting excitement and dread, the fog of mystery starts to form into a concrete and menacing shape.

But this being an Ottessa Moshfegh novel, strange dissonances start to accrue as we follow our protagonist in her investigation.  Our faith in her grip on reality weakens, until finally, just as she seems to be facing some of the darkness in her own past with her late husband, we are forced to face the prospect that there is either a more innocent explanation for all this or a much more sinister one—one that strikes closer to home.

About the Author: 

OTTESSA MOSHFEGH is a fiction writer from New England. Her first book, McGlue, a novella, won the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the Believer Book Award. She is also the author of the short story collection Homesick for Another World. Her stories have been published in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Granta, and have earned her a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, the Plimpton Discovery Prize, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Eileen, her first novel, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction; My Year of Rest and Relaxation, her second novel, was a New York Times bestseller.

About the Moderator:

CRISTINA NOSTI is the event coordinator at the independently-owned Books & Books in Miami, Florida. She is a huge fan of Ottessa’s writing since she first encountered Eileen at Book Expo’s Editors’ Buzz Panel in 2015. My Year of Rest and Relaxation was one of her favorite books of 2018. She’s thrilled to be able to sit down with one of her favorite writers and ask her more about her work and process.


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