I'm a Fan

A Novel

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Pub Date 05 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2023

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“A fast, fizzing cherry bomb of a debut” (The Observer [UK]) about power, intimacy, and the internet

I stalk a woman on the internet who is sleeping with the same man as I am.

Sheena Patel’s incandescent first novel begins with the unnamed narrator describing her involvement in a seemingly unequal romantic relationship. With a clear and unforgiving eye, she dissects the behavior of all involved, herself included, and makes startling connections between the power struggles at the heart of human relationships and those of the wider world. I’m a Fan offers a devastating critique of class, social media, patriarchy’s hold on us, and our cultural obsession with status and how that status is conveyed.

In this unforgettable debut, Patel announces herself as a dynamic, commanding new voice in literature, capable of rendering a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences viscerally on the page. Sex, brutality, politics, work, art, tenderness, humor—Patel tackles them all while making the reader complicit in the inescapable trap of fandom that seems to define the modern condition.

“A fast, fizzing cherry bomb of a debut” (The Observer [UK]) about power, intimacy, and the internet

I stalk a woman on the internet who is sleeping with the same man as I am.

Sheena Patel’s...

Advance Praise

I'm A Fan digs its nails deep into the contradictions of power and status with a brutally steady gaze. It's rare to find a book so thrillingly unafraid to offend, so willing to forgo niceties, so full of verve and bristling with insight.”—Alexandra Kleeman

I’m a Fan by Sheena Patel is like Pop Rocks in your mouth. Burnt coffee on your tongue. Frostbitten fingers. It’s been a long while since my heart raced over the prospect of turning a page in a book. Sheena Patel is an evil genius of a writer.”—Chloe Caldwell, author of The Red Zone: A Love Story 

I’m a Fan is an extraordinary and electrifying psycho-literary experience. Patel is a whirling, slippery, formidable storyteller coaxing the reader into a familiar and sinister interiority. Sticky and instinctual, this book slides us all willingly along the sharp edge of obsession.”—Ella Baxter, author of New Animal

“A fast, fizzing cherry bomb of a debut.”—Bidisha, The Observer (UK)

“A brutal, brilliant debut. . . . The desperate, cornered strength of the narrative voice in I’m a Fan is like nothing I’ve ever read.”—Lamorna Ash, The Guardian (UK)

“Spellbinding. . . . [Patel] compellingly dissects the roles race, class, and privilege play in the power dynamics of a relationship. . . . An exhilarating read from a refreshing new author.”—Christiana Bishop, The New Statesman (UK)

“Heads with a terrifying directness to dark (often horribly recognizable) places. . . . Cold fury powers I’m a Fan; it’s meant to be discomforting and it works, mesmerizingly well.”—Siobhan Murphy, The Times (UK) 

“Unlike the women in Rooney and Moshfegh’s fiction, the narrator of I’m A Fan is not allusive, but very blunt and cohesive in her recognition of everyone’s culpability for violence and cruelty—including her own. . . . A voice to remember.”—Vartika Rastogi, The Cardiff Review (UK)

I'm A Fan digs its nails deep into the contradictions of power and status with a brutally steady gaze. It's rare to find a book so thrillingly unafraid to offend, so willing to forgo niceties, so...

Marketing Plan

National publicity campaign

Bookseller outreach campaign

3-city US tour: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles

Targeted digital and social media advertising

National publicity campaign

Bookseller outreach campaign

3-city US tour: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles

Targeted digital and social media advertising

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781644452455
PRICE $17.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 46 members

Featured Reviews

Sheena Patel's I'm a Fan is a searing and, frankly, unnerving examination of romance and obsession in the internet age, This book was incredibly fast-paced and engaging, even as it unsettled me to sit in the mind of someone so desperate to be noticed. I absolutely loved this book, and look forward to reading more of Patel's incisive work.

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Wow What a Crazy Ride!
Sheena Patel has created a fast moving single speaker story of a woman explaining her romantic obsession as she recounts the interactions and considers contemporary society as a whole.

The Narrator is obsessed and her sharp voice will pull you in. She is unapologetic and angry and makes keen observations on social media and the patriarchy. It's truly a fast moving, mind melding read. I look forward to Sheena Patel's next book as I am a Fan! #Imafan #SheenaPatel

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what a unique lil book this was! loved the chaotic energy of the narrator, the humor & honesty, the often unspoken relatability of social media stalking, and the way the story unraveled, the themes explored outside of the 'love' (if you could call it that) story that took place -- class, race, fame, vulnerability, obsession, infatuation, gender, social media, just to name a few.

full review 2 come soon <3

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Sheena Patel welcomes readers into the often-times surreal world of online influencers, followers, lurkers, hate scrollers, ghosters, stalkers, and more in her impressive debut novel, “I’m A Fan”.

Patel, a founding member of the “4 Brown Girls Who Write” Poetry Collective, has all her skills on display, including those of Film/TV Writer/Director/Showrunner.

We are immediately thrust into the tragi-comic world of our insecure, needy narrator who thinks that she knows what she wants, but isn’t at all sure how to get it.

The narrative is edgy, erotic, degrading, hopeful, and sad. Just when you think that the novel is getting hopelessly unhinged, superficial, flaccid, and farcical, it veers into a smart, subversive, cunning, and transgressive treatment of racism, classism, sexism, and feminism. Patel takes her reader on a startling ride with never a dull moment. As exhilarating as that can feel, there is a constant fear that it is all a bit too fast, loose and reckless. “I’m A Fan” is a story for our strange and challenging times that is way more than simply life on The Gram..

All the best at all upcoming awards events. You deserve every bit of it.

Thanks to Graywolf Press and NetGalley for the eARC

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Thank you to the author Sheena Patel, publishers Gray Wolf Press, and as always NetGalley, for an advance digital copy of I'M A FAN.

In I'M A FAN, a nameless narrator, a woman of color, attempts to navigate a life in shambles and dodge the fallout from self-destructive behaviors, while sabotaging her relationship with her nameless white partner, "my boyfriend," and the romantic and intellectual privilege he represents by his proximity, and obsessing over the also nameless targets of her also self-destructive obsession with "the man I want to me with," also white, but older, wealthy, and socially established, and that man's wife, "the woman I am obsessed with," again white, but younger, a social media lifestyle influencer, and the genetic beneficiary of social and intellectual reputation. This very brilliant novel offers a completely binge-able expression of millennial angst coupled with scathing critique of racial, patriarchal, and class privilege and the frustration of living outside the social, professional, and personal lubrication it offered.

I'm a real stickler for plot, and this book's plot is skeletal like a dead tree, but I still enjoyed how all the pieces stuck together. Form helped keep my attention. The book is designed as a collection of tightly connected crots that could truly be read in any order, outside of the first and last. This patchwork form isn't new, but feels that way from the perspective of this manic-feeling narrator who isn't ill but really just tired of being thwarted.

If you like an exciting read that punches you right in your emotions, makes you think and wonder about systems like plot, fiction, racism, and social privilege, this is your book.

Rating: 🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣 / 5 voices shouting
Recommend? Completely, read this!
Finished: May 21 2023
Format: Advance Digital, NetGalley, screen reader
Read this if you like:
🪢 Experimental form
🟰 Social justice
👥️ Unreliable narrator
😈 Unlikable characters
❤️‍🔥 Love triangles

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This book has been lauded quite a bit and I had been eagerly waiting to get my hands on it. Thanks to NetGalley and Graywolf press for the ARC.

This is a quick read single speaker story of an unreliable narrator. The author pulls it off with ease though. The pace of the story feels like a sign of our times. Great read. Eagerly awaiting future works from the author.

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What an "in your face", intense ride this book is. It's a single narrative by an unnamed female protagonist. in her early 30s.

You're dropped right into her situation - which is having a one-sided relationship with a married, well-off guy, while she's in a relationship with her boyfriend that's tepid at best.

Oh, and the unnamed guy she's having the affair with is also juggling other women on the side.

She's a "fan" of one of the women he's involved in - she's an Influencer on social media.

"Fan" also seems to apply to her status with the guy.

All of the prose is done in choppy vignettes with really interesting chapter titles such as "the math isn't mathing". This kept the intrigue going.

I wouldnt say this book is plot driven because I didnt expect her situation - which is both enjoyable, adrenaline-inducing and agonizing - to change during the course of this short book. But i was just in for the writing. For the rush. I enjoyed the way that the author imparts details about the main character in cleverly delivered and spaced dribs and drabs.

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From the opening line of Sheena Patel’s I’M A FAN, I was hooked. Told in a series of funny, scorching, intensely introspective vignettes, it’s the story of an unnamed female narrator who toggles in her fixation between “the woman I am obsessed with”—a white American influencer whose following stems from her famous father and her impeccable (read: wealthy) aesthetics—and “the man I want to be with”—an unfaithfully married man who keeps her at arms length but seems addicted to her attention. The chapters ricochet around in time, creating a kaleidoscopic portrait of the narrator as she prostrates herself before the man she wants to be with, falls deeper into her parasocial relationship with the woman she is obsessed with, and issues searing reflections on art, race, gender, class, power, and access. The writing is intense, biting, and whip smart, just like the narrator herself.

For anyone who has ever gotten a queasy feeling of excitement when the profile picture of the person you are internet stalking gets ringed with red. Suggested pairings: The Possession by Annie Ernaux; The Shame by Makenna Goodman; and Luster by Raven Leilani.

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4.25 STARS

✨ FOR FANS OF: My Year of Rest and Relaxation, unhinged/unlikable narrators, no real plot, meditations on influencer culture

⭐️WHAT IT’S ABOUT: An unnamed narrator’s stream of consciousness about two toxic people who she creatively calls “the man I want to be with” and “the woman I am obsessed with”.

🌟what a bombastic narrator! Flawed, chaotic, extremely online— one of the most unhinged who is somehow compulsively readable & sometimes justifiable in her unhingedness. I immediately want to read whatever else Sheena Patel puts out just based off the development she gives her main character.
🌟Indictments of class, race, & media are spread throughout the plot, inviting reader reflection on how they interact with exoticism & fetishization.
🌟The vignettes were short & the titles were fun— lots of clever wordplay & allusions turned sideways for a skewed look at parasocial relationships & influencer culture.

☁️ I wanted more sustained resistance from the narrator & wish it had gone a bit further, but I guess that’s the point of this book: that so much of modern life feels impossible under patriarchy and capitalism.
☁️Some sections felt clinical & disparate from the narrator’s voice, like there was a “social commentary” voice and a “oops I’m unhinged and just a character” voice.

⭐️OVERALL: the reviews of this book are polarizing— StoryGraph people either give it a 1 or a 5. If you don’t like walking away from a book feeling unsettled, you might should skip it. I’m more in the 4.25 camp; I liked it because the prose’s style was addictive & brutal, plus it was a rip-roaring 207 pages, but I see where people can be fed up that it doesn’t “go” anywhere. I, however, found it hard to put down!

‼️ Check trigger warnings, as always. Thanks to @graywolfpress and @netgalley for my advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review!

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This is such a fun and easy read. The protagonist is not a good person or at the very least a questionable person, but the author made it so easy to relate to her and her darkest, most stalker-ish thoughts.

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I’m a fan of this. It reminds me of Sally Rooney books or My Year of Rest and Relaxation, where the main character keeps doing dumb stuff and you hate it but you can’t hate them bc they’re endearing and you want them to end up happy. I like the format of this, told in essay style chapters non-chronologically, like In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. There’s kind of a narrative, but that isn’t the point. Some lines were so good I wished so badly I had a physical copy so I could underline, highlight, flag. I loved the discussions of social media and whiteness and capitalism and feminism and art. I will be buying a copy when it releases! I loved it.

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I LOVED this book so much!!! It was the classic unreliable narrator, but told in a fresh new way that relied heavily on internet speak, which gave us the sense that the narrator herself was manipulating her own reality as she tried to manipulate us. It was darkly humorous, and honestly I could not put it down.

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Highly reccomend for people who are fans of the movie INGRID GOES WEST. Fun and quirky read. Was a big fan of Sheena's work.

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