The Life of the Mind
***A TIME MAGAZINE, LITHUB, WHITE REVIEW BEST BOOK OF 2021***
“200 pages of serious entertainment.” The Times
The Life of the Mind opens with Dorothy sitting on a library toilet, checking her phone and examining the “thick, curdled knots of string” coming out of her body. No one but her boyfriend knows that she’s had a miscarriage, not even her therapists-Dorothy has two of them.
An adjunct professor of English in New York City with no hope of finding a permanent position, Dorothy’s stuck, unable to envision the future or cut ties with the past. “What did you call it,” she asks herself, “when a life stopped developing, but it didn’t end?”
Christine Smallwood’s debut is a campus novel like no other. Piercingly intelligent and darkly hilarious, it moves from a classroom to an underwater puppet show, from a conference in Las Vegas to a karaoke party. It is a discomforting glimpse into the head of a brilliant woman on the edge, it is a novel about endings: of youth, of professional aspiration, of possibility, of the illusion that our minds can ever free us from the tyranny of our bodies.
"A jewel of a debut . . . abundantly satisfying." -- Jia Tolentino * The New Yorker * "Brilliant . . . Dorothy's sharp, witty narration makes this book something special. The result is like the glorious love child of Ottessa Moshfegh and Sally Rooney." * Publishers' Weekly (starred review) *
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?