How Should A Person Be?

How Should A Person Be?

[a Novel From Life]

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
10
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Facing a creative dilemma after a failed marriage, Sheila gathers inspiration from a depraved and free-spirited artist who becomes her lover, in a tale based on incidents from the author's true life.
Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : Anansi, 2012
Edition: New and expanded pbk ed
ISBN: 9781770892484
Branch Call Number: F HET NVD
Characteristics: 306 p. ; 22 cm

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esgouliaras Aug 02, 2017

A wonderful read! It appeals to young adults trying to figure out who they are and what they believe in.

t
tegan
Feb 22, 2016

I didn't finish this book. I read around 1/3 of it. The writing felt a bit too self-indulgent for me at times. I liked the premise of the novel, but it felt like it still needed a hefty edit.

lasmith55 Dec 27, 2015

My daughter recommended this book to me. She lives in Toronto too and liked the book a lot. I found some parts overly graphic although there was some very good writing.

f
Frybyte
Nov 08, 2015

yuck

c
chandisan
Dec 11, 2014

Heard about Sheila Heti on Canadalandshow.com interview

t
truestitches
Aug 14, 2013

What an annoying book. Tedious, narcissistic, bitchy. Very Toronto. And I wanted to like it, thought it started off with great potential.

h
HopeButterfly
Apr 25, 2013

Didn't get it!!!! Sorry...

m
Marzek
Feb 23, 2013

Any time spent reading this could be spent in innumerably better ways: cleaning your kitchen or bathroom, watching a few hours of tv, taking a walk. Why not write an e-mail you've been putting off for too long? I resent the fact that the time I spent with this book is time I will never get back. Superficial, narcissistic twaddle.

ksoles Oct 29, 2012

In "How Should a Person Be?," author Sheila Heti and her real-life friends form a cast of irritating characters who meander through the novel in an attempt to erase the line between fact and fiction. Heti's writing certainly displays cleverness and the author admirably explores unconventional narrative structures. However, these assets do not make up for a rootless, frustrating plot.

A newly divorced playwright, Sheila struggles to complete a commissioned work while searching for a sense of self. She claims to desire a simple life of fame without having to change her life. In addition to writing, Sheila works in a beauty salon where her boss Uri preaches beauty in balance. She also spends time with her eccentric artist friends including Margaux, to whom she dedicates the book. The novel includes actual taped conversations between Sheila and Margaux as well as emails between the two. After a spell of tasteless partying and druggy debauchery, Margaux "unfriends" Heti for invading her privacy and for buying the same yellow dress at an art festival in Miami.

Meanwhile, Sheila meets a baker named Israel, who considers himself a painter. Heti describes their sadomasochistic antics and worries that she's becoming a narcissist, not without good reason. Finally, Heti leaves Toronto for New York, but ends up no happier there. After a gambling jaunt to Atlantic City, she returns to Toronto and presumably resumes her shiftless life. Definitely not a page-turner.

debwalker Feb 20, 2011

From the multi-talented Heti - a new novel about the crisis in the life "Sheila Heti".

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