The Book of Ayn
by Lexi Freiman
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Pub Date 14 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 03 Nov 2023
After writing a satirical novel that The New York Times calls classist, Anna is shunned by the literary establishment and, in her hurt, radicalized by the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Determined to follow Rand’s theory of rational selfishness, Anna alienates herself from the scene and eventually her friends and family. Finally, in true Randian style, she abandons everyone for the boundless horizons of Los Angeles, hoping to make a TV show about her beloved muse.
Things look better in Hollywood—until the money starts running out, and with it Anna’s faith in the virtue of selfishness. When a death in the family sends her running back to New York and then spiraling at her mother’s house, Anna is offered a different kind of opportunity. A chance to kill the ego causing her pain at a mysterious commune on the island of Lesbos. The second half of Anna’s odyssey finds her exploring a very different kind of freedom – communal love, communal toilets – and a new perspective on Ayn Rand that could bring Anna back home to herself.
"A gimlet-eyed satirist of the cultural morasses and political impasses of our times" (Alexandra Kleeman), Lexi Freiman speaks in The Book of Ayn not only to a particular millennial loneliness, but also to a timeless existential predicament: the strangeness, absurdity, and hilarity of seeking meaning in the modern world.
“The Book of Ayn is an exquisitely wicked prosing of the reality-cancellation that now passes for reality by pretty much the funniest writer of a generation that has forgotten to laugh.”
—Joshua Cohen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Netanyahus
“Infuriating, perverse, contrarian, scandalous, nihilistic, and very, very funny.”
—Tony Tulathimutte, author of Private Citizens
“A maddening panorama of contemporary concerns, The Book of Ayn locks the dignified and the insouciant in hysterical alignment. Freiman is a writer of startling vision and verbal resource who deepens and subverts our cultural memory. Every sentence is liberating.”
—Zain Khalid, author of Brother Alive
“Like stumbling upon a brilliant, abject meme in the dark, The Book of Ayn is a thrill. Freiman’s satire is fierce, outrageous, and omnivorous, lacerating edgelords and the virtuous alike. I haven’t had so much fun with a book in ages.”
—Paul Dalla Rosa, author of An Exciting and Vivid Inner Life
“The rarest type of book—smart, hilarious, and audacious. A rebuke to both cynicism and self-righteousness that takes aim at pretty much everybody.”
—Erin Somers, author of Stay Up with Hugo Best