Episode 91 — Sheila Heti


Sheila Heti is today’s guest.  She is the Interviews Editor at The Believer magazine, and her new novel, How Should a Person Be?, is now available in the United States from Henry Holt.

Miranda July raves:

A new kind of book and new kind of person. A book that risks everything—shatters every rule we women try to follow in order to be taken seriously—and thus is nothing less than groundbreaking: in form, sexually, relationally and as a major literary work. With this complex, artfully messy and hilarious novel, Heti has done the rare and generous thing of creating more room for the rest of us. This is how a person should be.

And Margaret Atwood calls it

A seriously strange but funny plunge into the quest for authenticity.

Topics of conversation include: style, meaning, the question why?, process, direction, narrative, uncertainty, money, Reality Hunger, self-help, addressing the reader’s life directly, sex writing, fact vs. fiction, Internet porn, Henry Miller, Marquis de Sade, Lorin Stein, Ticknor, patience, Yaddo, revision, original drafts, over-tweaking, James Wood, The New Yorker, photo shoots, New York City, Gideon Lewis-Kraus, Ben Lerner, Leaving the Atocha Station, gender, reviews, Tennessee Williams, Who’s Who?, Googling, rebuttals, The Hills, Andrew Perry, Los Angeles, Antonioni, Samuel Beckett, childbirth, Toronto, theater, acting, authority, questioning, embarrassment, hearing from readers, Stanley Kubrick, Paul Thomas Anderson, McSweeney’s, working, book tour, and film and television.

Monologue topics:  the Olympics, world class athletes, foot speed, Usain Bolt, and sprinting through shopping malls.