FictionLapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh

Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh


Ottessa Moshfegh you literary chameleon. Author of Eileen, shortlisted for the Booker prize and viral sensation My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Lapvona is her latest book published last week.

I am half way through and it is nothing like I expected at all. Moshfegh is known for her unlikeable contemporary characters, melancholy and wry social commentary. Well buckle up folks because we are now somewhere in medieval times and life isn’t easy to say the least. 

You are hurtled into a corrupt fiefdom, ruled by superstition, religion and base human need. Young Marek is disfigured, abused and rather masochistic, a motherless shepherd boy who relishes his suffering which will surely guarantee his eternal salvation in heaven.

Like her other work, Moshfegh is able to immediately create a mist that descends around you are you read her words. There is a deep sense of unease, a matter of fact depiction of the grotesque and depraved, a recognisable element of her writing.

Reviews query what her message is within a narrative more focused on teasing out human desire in its worst forms than plot, with some comparing the social breakdown to the dystopia of lockdown (when it was written) and political corruption. 

I think only the best books, like the best art are able to do this, ensnare readers in having to fully understand what lies behind the creation. In a voyeuristic way this is mesmerising. The cruelty of people. The fragility of the seasons. The power of faith. The chance of birth. C

Ad:PR Thank you @jonathancape for the proof

Order your copy here.

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