ZYZZYVA Recommends March 2020: What to Read, Watch, & Listen to

by ZYZZYVA Staff

There’s no doubt March has been an incredibly stressful time for our community—it’s our hope with this Staff Recommends that we can, at the very least, recommend some books, graphic novels, films, and other works that might offer welcome relief or distraction as we all Shelter in Place: Alicia Long, Intern: On the upside of things, if you’re stuck at home there’s likely ample time to delve into the ever-accumulating list of shows you’ve been meaning to watch. And with only two seasons and twelve short episodes between them, Fleabag is the perfect series to ease your way into binge-mode. […]

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Trapped in a Town Without Pity: ‘Eileen’ by Ottessa Moshfegh

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Eileen (260 Pages; Penguin Press), the new novel by Ottessa Moshfegh, examines the moment of change in a life marred by self-hate, servitude, and isolation. Eileen Dunlop is a twenty-four year-old woman who plays caretaker to her alcoholic father, for whom “the worst thing [Eileen] could commit … was to do anything for [her] own pleasure, anything outside of [her] own daughterly duties.” A gun toting retired cop, he is harassed by imagined “hooligans” day and night. The gun thus established in the first act, we await its discharge in the third. But in the meantime, Moshfegh ekes out the […]

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What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?: ‘McGlue’ by Ottessa Moshfegh

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At the heart of Ottessa Moshfegh’s first novel, McGlue (122 pages; Fence Books), is a man who dampens life and feeling with drink—a man who is accused of murdering his best friend. Set in the mid-19th century, atop the high seas and throughout New England, the eponymous protagonist awakens aboard a ship, banished to the hold where he languishes drunkenly. As McGlue’s trial for murder approaches, the narrative moves backward in time, through the haze of memory obfuscated by a massive crack to McGlue’s head, which he received falling off a train. Moshfegh, whose stories have been published in The Paris Review, Fence, […]

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