Summary and book reviews of Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

Homesick for Another World

Stories

by Ottessa Moshfegh

Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh X
Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2017, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2017, 304 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Barbara Bamberger Scott
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

An electrifying first collection from one of the most exciting short story writers of our time.

Ottessa Moshfegh's debut novel Eileen was one of the literary events of 2015. Garlanded with critical acclaim, it was named a book of the year by The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle, nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. But as many critics noted, Moshfegh is particularly held in awe for her short stories. Homesick for Another World is the rare case where an author's short story collection is if anything more anticipated than her novel.

And for good reason. There's something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh's stories, something almost dangerous, while also being delightful, and even laugh-out-loud funny. Her characters  are all unsteady on their feet in one way or another; they all yearn for connection and betterment, though each in very different ways, but they are often tripped up by their own baser impulses and existential insecurities. Homesick for Another World is a master class in the varieties of self-deception across the gamut of individuals representing the human condition. But part of the unique quality of her voice, the echt Moshfeghian experience, is the way the grotesque and the outrageous are infused with tenderness and compassion.  Moshfegh is our Flannery O'Connor, and Homesick for Another World is her Everything That Rises Must Converge or A Good Man is Hard to Find. The flesh is weak; the timber is crooked; people are cruel to each other, and stupid, and hurtful. But beauty comes from strange sources. And the dark energy surging through these stories is powerfully invigorating. We're in the hands of an author with a big mind, a big heart, blazing chops, and a political acuity that is needle-sharp. The needle hits the vein before we even feel the prick.

A Better Place
A Complete Short Story from
Homesick For Another World

I come from some other place. It's not like a real place on Earth or something I could point to on a map, if I even had a map of this other place, which I don't. There's no map because the place isn't a place like something to be near or in or at. It's not somewhere or anywhere, but it's not nowhere either. There is no where about it. I don't know what it is. But it certainly isn't this place, here on Earth, with all you silly people. I wish I knew what it was, not because I think it would be great to tell you about it; I just miss it so much. If I knew what it was, maybe I could make something like it here on Earth. Waldemar says it's impossible. The only way to get there is to go.

"Waldemar," I say to my brother. "How do we get back to the place, to the thing, whatever?"

"Oh, you have to die. Or you have to kill the right person."

That's his answer now. For a long ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The book comprises fourteen tales, generally dark, each unique in its expression of mute angst; sexual longings, fulfilled or repressed; human contacts tentatively made and frustratingly frayed. Yet each offers what this new writer's growing readership has come to expect: sudden splashes of outré humor in the midst of squalid, fetid realities...continued

Full Review (522 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A smartly turned and admirably consistent collection about love and its discontents.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Expertly crafted stories…There's not a throw-away story in the collection. Each resonates with seemingly effortless, ineffable prose, rarely striking an inauthentic note—particularly memorable are the endings, which often land to devastating effect.

Booklist
Starred Review. While it is not always an easy read, this collection will leave readers with a sharper, more compassionate sense of the human condition.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Americans with Disabilities

In the story "No Place for Good People," one of the short stories in Homesick for Another World by Otessa Moshfegh, a lonely widower takes a job overseeing the daily needs of three men with "moderate developmental disabilities." Despite his personal problems, the protagonist is able to see these men as "reasonable enough people." This attitude reflects a relatively recent, open-minded, respectful view of those who used to be clinically labeled feeble-minded, morons, or idiots.

Before the middle of the 20th century, most Americans had little or no contact with the disabled unless through family. In general, the greatest level of care offered by society was to the blind, and though such care was often paternalistic, there was at least a ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Ottessa Moshfegh

If you liked Homesick for Another World, try these:

  • Starling Days jacket

    Starling Days

    by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

    Published 2021

    About this book

    The moving new novel by the author of Harmless Like You, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and NPR Great Read.

  • Exhalation jacket

    Exhalation

    by Ted Chiang

    Published 2020

    About this book

    From an award-winning science fiction writer, the long-awaited new collection of stunningly original, humane, and already celebrated short stories.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: African Europeans
    African Europeans
    by Olivette Otele
    The nexus of Africans and Europeans is not a recent historical development. Rather, the peoples of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Killing Hills
    The Killing Hills
    by Chris Offutt
    The personified hills of the novel's title foreshadow the mood of this brooding and ominous tale. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Vixen
    The Vixen
    by Francine Prose
    Recent Harvard graduate Simon Putnam has been rejected from grad school and has thus returned to his...
  • Book Jacket: How the Word Is Passed
    How the Word Is Passed
    by Clint Smith
    With legislatures around the U.S. rushing to ban the teaching of critical race theory, it's clear ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The War Nurse
by Tracey Enerson Wood
A sweeping novel by an international bestselling author based on a true World War I story.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    by Kristin Harmel

    An evocative coming-of-age World War II story from the author of The Book of Lost Names.

  • Book Jacket

    The Temple House Vanishing
    by Rachel Donohue

    A modern gothic page-turner set in a Victorian mansion in Ireland.

Win This Book!
Win Gordo

Gordo by Jaime Cortez

"Dark and hilarious ... singular and soaring ... Hands down, top debut of 2021."—Literary Hub

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

N Say N

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.