How Should a Person Be?
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How Should a Person Be? : A Novel from Life

By (author) Sheila Heti

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A raw, startling, genre-defying novel of friendship, sex, and love in the new millennium--a compulsive read that's like "spending a day with your new best friend" ("Bookforum")Reeling from a failed marriage, Sheila, a twentysomething playwright, finds herself unsure of how to live and create. When Margaux, a talented painter and free spirit, and Israel, a sexy and depraved artist, enter her life, Sheila hopes that through close--sometimes too close--observation of her new friend, her new lover, and herself, she might regain her footing in art and life.Using transcribed conversations, real emails, plus heavy doses of fiction, the brilliant and always innovative Sheila Heti crafts a work that is part literary novel, part self-help manual, and part bawdy confessional. It's a totally shameless and dynamic exploration into the way we live now, which breathes fresh wisdom into the eternal questions: What is the sincerest way to love? What kind of person should you be?

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  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 144.78 x 208.28 x 30.48mm | 408.23g
  • 19 Jun 2012
  • St Martin's Press
  • New York
  • English
  • New.
  • 0805094725
  • 9780805094725
  • 40,155

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Author Information

Sheila Heti is the author of several books of fiction, including "The Middle Stories" and "Ticknor"; and an essay collection written with Misha Glouberman, "The Chairs Are Where the People Go." Her writing has been translated into ten languages and her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Bookforum," "McSweeney's," "n+1," "The Guardian," and other places. She works as interviews editor at "The Believer" magazine and lives in Toronto.

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Review quote

"Funny...odd, original, and nearly unclassifiable...Sheila Heti does know something about how many of us, right now, experience the world, and she has gotten that knowledge down on paper, in a form unlike any other novel I can think of." "- "David Haglund, "The New York Times Book Review""[Sheila Heti] has an appealing restlessness, a curiosity about new forms, and an attractive freedom from pretentiousness or cant..."How Should a Person Be? "offers a vital and funny picture of the excitements and longueurs of trying to be a young creator in a free, late-capitalist Western City...This talented writer may well have identified a central dialectic of twenty-first-century postmodern being." "- "James Wood, "The New Yorker""Brutally honest and stylistically inventive, cerebral and sexy, this 'novel from life' employs a grab bag of literary forms and narrative styles on its search for the truth...meandering and entertaining exploration of the big questions, rousting aesthetic, moral, religious and ethical concerns most novels wouldn't touch." -Michael David Lukas, "San Francisco Chronicle""A perfect summer read. It is also one of the bravest, strangest, most original novels I've read this year...We care about Sheila's plight, but the souls in limbo here are, ultimately, our own. With so many references to the world outside of the fiction, this novel demands to know: Can art inform our lives, and tell us how to be?" "- "Christopher Boucher, "The Boston Globe""It's a bawdy, idiosyncratic novel about art, sex, Toronto, female friendship, and the endless quest to learn how to live. The title makes me quake with envy. All good books should be called just that."--Chad Harbach, "Entertainment Weekly"'s "Hey, what are you reading?""Original...hilarious...Part confessional, part play, part novel, and more--it's one wild ride...Think HBO'S "Girls "in book form." --"Marie Claire"""How Should a Person Be?" teeters between youthful pretension and irony in ways tha

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