See It Here: The Cover for Ottessa Moshfegh’s New Novel
A Look at My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Forthcoming from Penguin Press in July 2018, My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a novel about a young woman’s efforts to duck the world by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes.
This cover, designed by Darren Hagger, is giving me a real Mallory Ortberg-does-Western Art History vibe—the artwork is “Portrait of a Young Woman in White,” painted in 1798 by Jacques-Louis David, and it reads almost as though the title is what’s going through this young woman’s mind, with the author’s name as the punchline. Whatever it is, it works.
More on the novel from the publisher:
Our narrator has many of the advantages of life, on the surface. Young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, she lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a vacuum at the heart of things, and it isn’t just the loss of her parents in college, or the miserable way her Wall Street sometime-boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her alleged best friend. It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?
My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a powerful answer to that very question. Through the story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs designed to heal us from our alienation from this world, it shows us how reasonable, even necessary, that alienation sometimes is. Tender and blackly funny, merciless and compassionate, it is a showcase for the gifts and the rewards of one of our major writers working at the height of her powers.