Five stories—several as long as novellas—introduce the world to Jen George, a writer whose furiously imaginative new voice calls to mind Donald Barthelme and Leonora Carrington no less than Kathy Acker and Chris Kraus. In "Guidance/The Party," an ethereal alcoholic "Guide" in robes and flowing hair appears to help a thirty-three-year-old woman prepare a party for her belated adulthood; "Take Care of Me Forever" tragically lambasts the medical profession as a ship of fools afloat in loneliness and narcissism; "Instruction" chronicles a season in an unconventional art school called The Warehouse, where students divide their time between orgies, art critiques, and burying dead racehorses. Combining slapstick, surrealism, erotica, and social criticism, Jen George's sprawling creative energy belies the secret precision and unexpected tenderness of everything she writes.

"Our Favorite Books from 2016" @ The Believer
"Best Short Story Collections of 2016" @ Electric Literature
"Best Fiction Books, 2016" @ Entropy
"Our 20 Favorite Books of 2016" @ The A.V. Club

"This brilliantly caustic début collection of stories is an attack on the pieties of contemporary social life and the niceties of traditional fiction."—The New Yorker

"THE BABYSITTER AT REST is an undeniably great debut collection of stories. George's writing is funny, courageous, smart, surreal, seductive, and terrifyingly vulnerable."—Electric Literature

"We all know it's commitment to something absurd that makes things funny—but in THE BABYSITTER AT REST Jen George commits to scenarios that are not just absurd but weird in a deeply true, 'unspeakable-underpinning-of-reality' sort of way. And thus her commitment is both funny and kind of spiritual at the same time—and by laughing, you're admitting this female inner universe exists. And that kind of changes everything."—Miranda July, author of The First Bad Man: A Novel

The Babysitter at Rest by Jen George

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  • Dorothy, a publishing project 2016

    New paperback

    168 pages