The Life of the Mind (Paperback)
  • The Life of the Mind (Paperback)
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The Life of the Mind (Paperback)

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£8.99
Paperback Published: 04/08/2022
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***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.

Publisher: Europa Editions (UK) Ltd
ISBN: 9781787704268
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

“A jewel of a debut... abundantly satisfying.” - Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror

“Brilliant and pleasurable, funny and dark, cerebral and visceral—a must-read for the bleeding human survivors of the modern age.” - Melissa Broder, author of Milk Fed

"Crisp and assured." - London Review of Books

“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

“Hilarious, recognizable, and helplessly wise..” - Rivka Galchen

“That rare thing: an intellectual page-turner that commands one’s attention completely from the first sentence to the final line. In painfully funny prose, Smallwood’s X-ray gaze seeks out the rich seams of anxiety and loneliness running just below the surface of our culture’s exhausting performative enthusiasm, taking in everything from the complex social politics of karaoke to the head-spinning paradoxes of an academic conference in Las Vegas… Essential reading for our troubling times.” - Andrew Martin

“A wonderful novel about a life (and a mind) that refuses to behave novelistically. The book is smart, sharp, often very funny, and, in its commitment to truth over beauty, absolutely fearless.” - Christopher Beha

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“Impressive debut”

"The Life of the Mind" is a very impressive debut, and comparisons with Sally Rooney and Otessa Moshfegh feel spot on. Christine Smallwood introduces to Dorothy, an adjunct professor of English Literature in... More

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