The New Me
By Halle Butler
Like a dark and twisted mash up of Lena Dunham's GIRLS and Ricky Gervais's THE OFFICE - this is "a dark comedy of female rage" (Catherine Lacey) and a biting satire of the false promise of reinvention, by a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and Granta Best Young American Novelist
I'm still trying to make the dream possible: still might finish my cleaning project, still might sign up for that yoga class, still might, still might. I step into the shower and almost faint, an image of taking the day by the throat and bashing its head against the wall floating in my mind.
Thirty-year-old Millie just can't pull it together. Misanthropic and morose, she spends her days killing time at a thankless temp job until she can return home to her empty apartment, where she oscillates wildly between self-recrimination and mild delusion, fixating on all the little ways she might change her life. Then she watches TV until she drops off to sleep, and the cycle begins again.
When the possibility of a full-time job offer arises, it seems to bring the better life she's envisioning - one that involves nicer clothes, fresh produce, maybe even financial independence - within reach. But with it also comes the paralyzing realization, lurking just beneath the surface, of just how hollow that vision has become.
Darkly hilarious and devastating, THE NEW ME is a dizzying descent into the mind of a young woman trapped in the funhouse of American consumer culture.
Halle Butler is a writer living in New York City. The author of Jillian, she has been named a National Book Award Foundation's "5 Under 35" honoree and a Granta Best Young American Novelist.
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- Publication date:
13 Jun 2019
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Halle Butler is a first-rate satirist of the horror show being sold to us as Modern Femininity. She is Thomas Bernhard in a bad mood, wearing ill-fitting tights, scrutinizing old take-out leftovers. THE NEW ME shows us the futility of betterment in an increasingly paranoid era of self-improvement, one in which the female body is grated into little bloody empowered bits of itself. A dark comedy of female rage. Fucking hilarious. — Catherine Lacey
THE NEW ME renders contemporary American life in such vivid, stinging color, that certain sentences are liable to give the reader a paper cut. But you'll want to keep on reading anyway. Halle Butler is terrific, and I loved this book. — Kelly Link
A bouncy, profane, highly addictive novel about work, female friendship, and other alienations. Halle Butler's insane talent shimmers on every page of this deadpan misanthrope's ode. A must-read! — Claire Vaye Watkins
Halle Butler has a way of looking at our 21st-century neoliberalist condition that simultaneously exposes its brutality and renders that same brutality absurd, hilarious, fizzy with humor. She's an incisive, curmudgeonly bard of the uniquely precarious times we live in, and it is crucial that you read her immediately. — Alexandra Kleeman
A bleak and brutal book that exposes a nearly unbearable futility to life in the workforce, not to mention life outside of it. Butler's vision is funny and raw and dark-a cautionary tale, hilarious and intimate, against growing up and making do. — Ben Marcus