This “novel from life” was published in Canada in 2010, then revised and published in the United States in 2012. It’s about making art in the contemporary world, the intense friendship between a painter named Margaux and a writer named Sheila, and about sex and art in an age in which the blow job is "the ultimate art form.” Time called How Should a Person Be? "among the most talked-about books of 2012." Its companion piece is the movie Teenager Hamlet by the artist Margaux Williamson (a pairing investigated here).

These thirty short stories were written by the author in her early twenties, and four of them were first published by McSweeney’s in Issue #4. The tales feature mermaids, dumplings, and men and women navigating a bleak, contemporary landscape. The stories are often surreal and frequently funny. The collection was recently reissued in a beautiful 10th Anniversary Edition.

Sheila Heti wrote this book with her good friend and collaborator, Misha Glouberman. While he talked, she typed. The result is 72 essays on a wide range of topics, from improvisation to neighbourhood activism to monogamy. Misha's voice is articulate, compassionate and reasonable, addressing the mores, manners and complexities of living in a city amongst people. McSweeney's commissioned this children's book from Sheila Heti as part of their originating series of books for kids. The art is by the painter Clare Rojas. The book is appropriate for people of all ages. It is a gentle and veiled exploration of death and the meaning of life and finding one's place in the cosmos. Sheila Heti's second book is this novel, published by FSG. It's based on the real-life friendship between two Boston Brahmins, George Ticknor and William Hickling Prescott. The book reimagines Ticknor (who was in real life Prescott's biographer) as a loner and a failure. The story is narrated in Ticknor's head as he walks to Prescott's house for a dinner party, consumed with envy.

"Sheila Heti does know something about how many of us, right now, experience the world, and she has gotten that knowledge down on paper, in a form unlike any other novel I can think of."

- The New York Times

"Heti's overall sensibility is reminiscent of a remark Brassai once made about his photographs: 'I never sought to express anything but reality itself, than which there is nothing more surreal.'"

- The Toronto Star

"A triumph of what might be called conversational philosophy ... The world is better for these humane and hilarious essays."

- The New Yorker

"In this subtle existential meditation, Heti imagines a dreamlike landscape in which big questions are gently asked, and just as gently answered. The overall sensibility is fresh, even futuristic. ... All ages."

- Publisher’s Weekly

"Ticknor... is a work brilliantly crafted to deliver its revelations and redemptions. It is stylish and slim, but original, and full of feeling."

- Esquire

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