Monday, September 16, 2013

How Should a Person Be?

How Should a Person Be?
Sheila Heti

Sheila Heti’s semi-autobiographical novel addresses questions of morality, ethics, art, and the nature of being in a crisply simple and refreshingly minimalistic manner. Her story conveys the bleakly humorous and at times cynical perceptions of Sheila, a young playwright, as she attempts to wend her way through both the jungle of Toronto’s literary landscape and her own internal entanglements.  Heti’s blunt and forthright prose neatly and impactfully captures the essential questions (and the deceptively straightforward answers) that both she and her narrator posit within the narrative: What does it mean to “be”? Can our essence of being adequately and accurately be captured in art? What is art? And how do we go about comfortably living a life with no intrinsic value? Traversing the terrain of these queries, Heti confronts our human limitations with a literary style that simultaneously questions and answers—a style reminiscent of the human experience.

-Sarah Walker

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