The Life of the Mind
“The glorious love child of Otessa Moshfegh and Sally Rooney.”
Six days ago, Dorothy had a miscarriage. At the novel’s opening, she is examining the “thick, curdled knots of string” that are still coming out of her body. Her doctor had told her that the bleeding would stop in a few days, but it hasn’t.
She considers the miscarriage as ‘less than a trauma and more than an inconvenience.’ Like everything that happens to Dorothy, she observes the events of her life with detached interest.
Piercingly intelligent and darkly funny, The Life of the Mind 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. Christine Smallwood’s stunning novel inhabits the abyss between what we think about and what we actually do.
"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) *
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