Books I’m Excited About: ‘Lapvona’

New Ottessa Moshfegh. That’s it. That’s the post.

Stop the presses. Drop everything you’re doing. There’s a new Ottessa Moshfegh on the horizon. The digital ink on this news hasn’t even had time to dry, but I want you to know about it first. I have a few tasty morsels of information (thank you, LitHub) to report on, but my biggest takeaway is that Mosfegh’s latest (coming Summer 2022!!) dips into the realm of…historical fantasy. Now, I know this isn’t exactly new territory as her debut novella McGlue is a period piece pirate story and there’s tinges of the—shall we say—fantastic in her most recent novels, but what intrigues me about Lapvona (that’s the title!) is that it will emerge as a true child of the COVID era, wrought in the haze of fear and uncertainty of the last year. How did this period of isolation inform the novel? Was it restorative? Debilitating?

Of her time in quarantine, Moshfegh said:

“In a time where there has been so much trauma and loss, [isolation] was a silver lining. Humanity finds purpose where it can. It’s like flowers growing out of the cracks in the sidewalk. People can grow anywhere. That is beautiful.

When I wrote an article for The Guardian about lockdowns last April, I had not settled into reality. I was adjusting to it like everybody else. A year in, I would write a very different essay, maybe a more intimate portrait of how I’ve changed.

But I also wrote an entire novel during this period. I needed to. To survive.”

Wowowowowowow. Moshfegh has always found ways to make the most revelatory statements through some of the harshest, most unsavory scenes in literature, and while I do expect that, I am also hoping to discover something even more beautiful and transformative from a writer I already absolutely adore.

3 Author Photo

Here’s a bit of the jacket copy Penguin Press let us have earlier this week:

In Ottessa Moshfegh’s new novel Lapvona, set in the vanished medieval fiefdom of the same name, a motherless son and his bitter shepherd father must navigate dark times in their village, in which the only seeming check on the depravity of the local feudal lord is the witchy power of the village’s blind midwife.

Normally, this is the point where I’d direct you to pre-order Lapvona, but as a listing for the book doesn’t yet exist, I’d implore you to read any and all Moshfegh you can get your hands on. My Year of Rest and Relaxation is my personal favorite, but McGlueDeath in Her HandsHomesick for Another World, and Eileen are all wonderful.

You can follow the #BooksImExcitedAbout tag on this blog to find more posts like this. And be sure to explore BookPeople’s “Books We’re Anticipating” lists for more of the titles booksellers can’t wait to get their hands on.

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