How A Person Should Be?


How did I get it?:
From netgalley, thank you to Random House


Reeling from a failed marriage, Sheila, a twentysomething playwright, finds herself unsure of how to live and create. When Margaux, a talented painter and free spirit, and Israel, a sexy and depraved artist, enter her life, Sheila hopes that through close-sometimes too close-observation of her new friend, her new lover, and herself, she might regain her footing in art and life.

Using transcribed conversations, real emails, plus heavy doses of fiction, the brilliant and always innovative Sheila Heti crafts a work that is part literary novel, part self-help manual, and part bawdy confessional. It’s a totally shameless and dynamic exploration into the way we live now, which breathes fresh wisdom into the eternal questions: What is the sincerest way to love? What kind of person should you be?


This novel is interesting because of its autobiographical nature. It’s a raw piece of writing, which doesn’t read like a novel but more like a commentary on working out ‘How A Person Should Be?’. I have mixed feelings about this book. Some comments were incredibly insightful and thought-provoking. They could be easily quoted to portray how I feel about my life. However, the way in which it was written felt quite stilted. This of course, could be intentional, we know life itself isn’t always free flowing and a person does go through periods of unrest. I particularly enjoyed reading the sections in screenplay format. It is here that the writing really shone and felt fresh. An interesting book, completely different to anything I’ve ever read.

Would I recommend it?:

Reading next:
Prodigal- Rektok Ross

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