Books by Sheila Heti
“I’m particularly excited about the February arrival of Pure Colour by Sheila Heti, surely the smartest, most erudite and exacting writer working today. Pure Colour has been billed by the publisher as ‘a galaxy of a novel’ which combines realism with surrealistic elements (at one point, the protagonist’s father moves through her as a spirit, at another she becomes a leaf), and asks the reader to consider life and death, the nature of art, and the nature of… well, nature. Unmissable.” Read more...
Cal Flyn, Journalist
“What I find so interesting about How Should a Person Be? is the way that the existential quest of the character Sheila—who is also sort of like the author in this autofictional hybrid—is paralleled by the narrative’s quest for the right genre. You see the text working through these different possible genres before it settles on its final autofictional form. It even incorporates skeletal remainders of other genres it’s experimented with, like the aborted play Sheila writes.” Read more...
Beth Blum, Literary Scholar
Interviews where books by Sheila Heti were recommended
The Best Self-Help Novels, recommended by Beth Blum
Since the publication of Samuel Smiles’ Self-Help (1859) in Victorian Britain, self-help has become a billion dollar industry—and its influence is even felt in the contemporary novel, says Harvard literary scholar Beth Blum, author of The Self-Help Compulsion, a new history of the rise of self-help narratives in modern literature.
The Best Autofiction, recommended by Juliet Jacques
Autofiction is writing that blurs the boundaries between autobiography and fiction. The writer of Trans: A Memoir, Juliet Jacques, picks her top five examples of the genre.
Notable Novels of Spring 2022, recommended by Cal Flyn
If you’re nervous of what 2022 has in store for us, you’re not alone. But at least there will be plenty of excellent new books to read. Here, Five Books deputy editor Cal Flyn offers a round-up of the notable novels of spring 2022, including exciting new work from Sheila Heti, Ali Smith and Marlon James.