How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti

The protagonist of Sheila Heti’s thorny novel is a young divorced woman, living in Toronto, who is a heap of contradictions. She has a Jungian analyst yet works at a beauty salon. She’s writing a play for a feminist theater yet is in sexual thrall to a man named Israel. She is concerned with the biggest questions (“How do you build your soul?”) but realizes that “to go on and on about your soul is to miss the whole point of life.” Heti’s prose is dark and perceptive. She has a special gift, given to few, of being able to deliver prose that feels like actual, flickering, unmediated, sometimes humiliating thought. Speaking about art with a friend, Heti’s narrator says: “You have to know where the funny is, and if you know where the funny is, you know everything.” There is wit in Heti’s novel, for sure, but also a sense that she is drawing from a deep well, and that this will not be her last major book.

The 831st greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 3rd on A Premature Attempt at the 21st Century Canon (Vulture)
  2. - The New Vanguard (New York Times)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life Hardcover 966113 $2.29 2012
How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life Paperback 52042 $10.94 $1.98 2013
How Should a Person Be? Paperback 3430605 $9.24 $2.38 2014
How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life Kindle Edition 402756 2012
How Should a Person Be? Paperback 4544908 $15.00 $4.55
How Should a Person Be? Hardcover 4484902 $69.89 $47.45 2010
How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life by Heti, Sheila (2012) Hardcover Hardcover 8426220 $4.60
How Should a Person Be? Paperback 18412855 $8.98
¿CÓMO DEBERÍA SER UNA PERSONA? (Héroes Modernos) (Spanish Edition) Paperback 7281282 $25.90 $31.79 2013
How Should a Person Be? Audible Audiobook 35415 $20.95 2016