The Life of the Mind

A Novel
by Christine Smallwood (Author)
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ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Time, NPR, The Atlantic, Electric Lit, Thrillist, LitHub, Kirkus Reviews • A witty, intelligent novel of an American woman on the edge, by a brilliant new voice in fiction—“the glorious love child of Ottessa Moshfegh and Sally Rooney” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“[A] jewel of a debut . . . abundantly satisfying.”—Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker

As an adjunct professor of English in New York City with little hope of finding a permanent position, Dorothy feels “like a janitor in the temple who continued to sweep because she had nowhere else to be but who had lost her belief in the essential sanctity of the enterprise.” No one but her boyfriend knows that she’s just had a miscarriage—not her mother, her best friend, or her therapists (Dorothy has two of them). She wasn’t even sure she wanted to be a mother. So why does Dorothy feel like a failure?
 
The Life of the Mind is a book about endings—of youth, of ambition, of possibility, but also of the meaning that an inquiring mind can find in the mess of daily experience. Mordant and remorselessly wise, this jewel of a debut cuts incisively into life as we live it, and how we think of it.

Publication date
March 02, 2021
Publisher
ISBN
9780593229903
Paper ISBN
9780593229897

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