How Should a Person Be?

by Sheila Heti
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Fresh from a failed marriage and unable to complete a feminist play that she has been commissioned to write, twenty-something artist and playwright Sheila is floundering. How can she write about women when everything she has learned about herself comes from the men she’s known who ‘wanted to teach her something’?

When Margaux, a talented painter, and Israel, a sexy and depraved artist, come into her life, Sheila plunges them into a life experiment, tape-recording their conversations and treating them as specimens in an investigation. Perhaps through close – sometimes too close – observation of her friend and her lover, she might regain her footing in art and life. As she tries to make sense of her experience with a heady mix of anxiety, wit and great conversation, Sheila takes us on a fearless exploration into the way we live now.

Sheila Heti is the author of several books of fiction, including the Middle Stories and Ticknor, and a book of ‘conversational philosophy’ called The Chairs are Where the People Go, written with Misha Glouberman, which was chosen by the New Yorker as a best book of 2011. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Bookforum, McSweeney’s n+1, the Guardian and other places. She works as interviews editor at The Believer magazine and lives in Toronto