Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from Boston. She was awarded the Plimpton Prize for her stories in The Paris Review and granted a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her acclaimed debut novel is Eileen.
From Moshfegh's Q & A with Kate Kellaway at the Guardian:
What was the seed of the story?--Marshal Zeringue
It wasn’t Eileen, it was the boy: Lee Polk. He was based on the true story of a young man who had murdered his father and was serving life without parole. His father had abused him and his mother had been complicit in the abuse. When I sat down to write this novel, I thought: this is going to be the terror that keeps me grounded and the drama developed around that.
How and where did Eileen draw her first breath?
Eileen was born, as I was, in New England. Her character and her obsessions are familiar to me although my family is nothing like hers. She suffers from existential dissonance, the idea you should be happy because you are an American [laughs]. This trouble is not peculiar to women but there is a certain flavour to it when you are a free-thinking person and not satisfied with a patriarchal status quo.
Eileen is unhealthily obsessed with her appearance – a side-effect of unhappiness?
People tell me: “Eileen is so...[read on]