The New Me

The New Me

eBook - 2019
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"[A] definitive work of millennial literature . . . wretchedly riveting." —Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker
"Girls + Office Space + My Year of Rest and Relaxation + anxious sweating = The New Me." Entertainment Weekly

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. She spends her days working a thankless temp job and her nights alone in her apartment, fixating on all the ways she might change her situation—her job, her attitude, her appearance, her life. Then she watches TV until she falls asleep, 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 within reach. But with it also comes the paralyzing realization, lurking just beneath the surface, of how hollow that vision has become.
"Wretchedly riveting" (The New Yorker) and "masterfully cringe-inducing" (Chicago Tribune), The New Me is the must-read new novel by National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree and Granta Best Young American novelist Halle Butler.
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

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lukasevansherman
Jun 14, 2020

Not much happens in this slim novel. The protagonist is almost defiantly anti-heroic. She works a depressing temp job, she drinks beer with her one friend, she seemingly absorbs every dull detail about her life, from her clothes to her ex-boyfriend. It does capture a certain millennial ennui and the ash-end of late capitalism, but it's not exactly an inspiring read. It's the literary equivalent of a store bought salad that's been left in the fridge too long. In a similar vein, there's "My Year of Rest and Relaxation," "Severance,'" and "You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine."

newyorker.com/magazine/2019/04/15/halle-butlers-the-new-me-is-an-office-novel-for-a-precarious-age

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uncommonreader
Feb 10, 2020

Yet another first-world millennial novel about a woman from a middle-class background stuck in a world where everything is wrong - no permanent job, small apartment, no boyfriend, no real friends. She is lonely and depressed and has no agency. The book itself is depressing.

takeclare Sep 30, 2019

This year I've read a number of novels which could be categorised as 'lost milennial women' books. 'My Year of Rest and Relaxation', 'Attraction', 'Vacuum in the Dark', and 'You Too Could Have A Body Like Mine' come to mind. Ever drawn to introspective narratives about the inner lives of women, I like these books, mostly. 'The New Me' follows nihilistic Millie, a perpetual temp worker, who is judgemental of the women in her office, yet - crippled by insecurities, she desires permanent work and economic stability as a means of feeling happy and successful. This novel was thought provoking, as are the others, in its exploration of contemporary alienation, isolation and meaning-seeking under a late-capitalist economic climate. But - perhaps more so than the other examples, I found it to be depressing and disquieting, a cautionary tale of the perils of succumbing to the grind of making money to support a life of little meaning or connection, and the pursuit of socially validated success without self-reflection. An interesting, bleak read.

multcolib_karene Jun 23, 2019

Exactly what Marianne from the Indianapolis Public Library said - started out great but by the end, I was very disappointed.

IndyPL_MarianneK Feb 18, 2019

This one started great. I really enjoyed the banter and references, but then it just stagnated and ended pretty meh.

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