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Discuss: Eileen
Come join us for a discussion of Otessa Moshfegh's novel (shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker) Eileen. So here we are. My name was Eileen Dunlop. Now you know me. I was twenty-four years old then, and had a job that paid fifty-seven dollars a week as a kind of secretary at a private juvenile correctional facility for teenage boys. I think of it now as what it really was for all intents and purposes—a prison for boys. I will call it Moorehead. Delvin Moorehead was a terrible landlord I had years later, and so to use his name for such a place feels appropriate. In a week, I would run away from home and never go back. This is the story of how I disappeared. The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop, an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between her role as her alcoholic father’s caretaker in a home whose squalor is the talk of the neighborhood and a day job as a secretary at the boys’ prison, filled with its own quotidian horrors. Consumed by resentment and self-loathing, Eileen tempers her dreary days with perverse fantasies and dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, she fills her nights and weekends with shoplifting, stalking a buff prison guard named Randy, and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father’s messes. When the bright, beautiful, and cheery Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counselor at Moorehead, Eileen is enchanted and proves unable to resist what appears at first to be a miraculously budding friendship. In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca ultimately pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings. Played out against the snowy landscape of coastal New England in the days leading up to Christmas, young Eileen’s story is told from the gimlet-eyed perspective of the now much older narrator. Creepy, mesmerizing, and sublimely funny, in the tradition of Shirley Jackson and early Vladimir Nabokov, this powerful debut novel enthralls and shocks, and introduces one of the most original new voices in contemporary literature. “The great power of this book, which won the PEN/Hemingway debut fiction award last month, is that Eileen is never simply a literary gargoyle; she is painfully alive and human, and Ottessa Moshfegh writes her with a bravura wildness that allows flights of expressionistic fantasy to alternate with deadpan matter of factness…As an evocation of physical and psychological squalor, Eileen is original, courageous and masterful.” —The Guardian “Eileen is a remarkable piece of writing, always dark and surprising, sometimes ugly and occasionally hilarious. Its first-person narrator is one of the strangest, most messed-up, most pathetic—and yet, in her own inimitable way, endearing—misfits I’ve encountered in fiction. Trust me, you have never read anything remotely like Eileen.” —Washington Post -- Please only RSVP if you intend to attend the discussion. RSVPS who are no shows will be noted in the Meetup system. Please consider signing up for the waitlist as spots often open up as we get closer to the event. As a courtesy to other group members, participants are also expected to update their RSVP status if they find that they no longer are able to attend the event. Members who do not update their RSVP status and fail to show up will be dropped from the group.

House near Alamo Square, SF. Address will be sent to members who RSVP.

House Near Alamo Square · San Francisco, ca

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    What we're about

    This San Francisco based book club invites readers who are excited about reading and discussing contemporary, recently released fiction to build community with other avid bibliophiles. Discover and discuss great books!

    We meet once a month (usually the 3rd Wed of the month) in the NoPa neighborhood of SF. Spots are limited to about 8-10 people per discussion. Members are welcome to invite friends if there are spots still open. The group selects the next reading selection at each meeting. All books selected are available in paperback.

    Only Bookworms interested in actually coming to a meeting should sign up as members of this group. Non-attendees will be periodically deleted-usually if members have not attended three meetings in a row. As a courtesy--attendees who have RSVPed, but have a change in plans, are requested to change their RSVP as soon as possible BEFORE the meeting. Bookworms who RSVP "yes" and don't attend are not invited back.

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