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In this fine first collection of stories, Moshfegh presents readers with a variety of damaged protagonists who invite our analysis. Some stories are in the vein of Flannery O'Connor, yet Moshfegh is perhaps a bit more subtle in her characterizations; she allows her characters' behavior to expose inner drives, conflicts, needs. Many stories have ambiguous endings that demand closer introspection from readers, and it is time well spent. Moshfegh is undoubtedly one of the finest writers we have seen in the last ten years. A highly recommend collection!
Moshfegh has, if possible, topped her debut novel, “Eileen,” in frank and unsentimental character dissection. Her characters are honest, at times grotesque, and presented in multi-dimensional and startling honesty. You won’t like them all, but you won’t forget them. The pining isolation of our crowded planet forms the homesickness referred to in the title. The writing is impeccable. There is not a single misstep on any page of this brilliant collection.
One of the best short story collections I've ever read. Love all of this writer's books and hope she continues to produce more. These blunt stories break your heart but make you laugh too, a perfect combination. Characters that are on the edge of society....drug addicts, perverts, mental cases....but somehow you can relate to their humanity.
I enjoyed getting glimpses into the lives of these sick people. Moshfegh describes several gross physical acts with elegance, if that's at all possible. I mean, how would other writers fare if presented with such a challenge? It's difficult to not have a lapse in taste when describing trichotillomania, rashes, bulimia, fingers inserted into nether-orifices ... This author has talent, she has a voice, and she does what she wants, and all I can do is thank her for sticking to her guns--for refusing to whitewash and sanitize her work with color-safe bleach in order to appeal to vanilla-minded sensibilities. She takes a stand, corners a niche all her own, and dares to be different.
My favorite story was "The Beach Boy." It's perfect for those who want to avoid the icky stuff, but it's definitely a gut punch and I still think about it now, months later.
The scenarios presented here are alternately risible and outright disgusting; they are more of anti-climactic slices of life and vignettes than traditional stories with predictable arcs. I've been making an effort to read more female authors and I'm proud to have this hardcover on my shelf.
I should warn you, though, that Moshfegh's characters are mostly flawed and often unhappy. Reading this book along with Flannery O'Connor's short stories was not a recipe for a cheerful few days. Alternate her stories with David Sedaris, maybe.
All of these characters are apathetic and hopelessly flawed, but they make for interesting stories. It's funny and very dark at times, but I found Homesick for Another World to be pretty compelling. I enjoyed this book.