NAMED BY NEW YORK MAGAZINE AS ONE OF TWELVE “NEW CLASSICS OF THE 21ST CENTURY.”
LISTED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES AS ONE “THE NEW VANGUARD,” A LIST OF FIFTEEN BOOKS BY WRITERS GLOBALLY WHICH ARE “CHANGING THE WAY WE READ AND WRITE IN THE 21ST CENTURY.”
CHOSEN AS A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, THE NEW YORKER, THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, SALON, FLAVORPILL, THE NEW REPUBLIC, THE NEW YORK OBSERVER AND THE HUFFINGTON POST
"Sheila makes it ugly to clear a space: for novels to be less fictional, for women to dream of being geniuses, for a way of being ‘honest and transparent and give away nothing.' ... Reviewers described wanting to throw the book across the room or to stock up on copies to give to friends, sometimes both... She has been called the heir to Philip Roth, or to Joan Didion... ." - The London Review of Books
"It's exhilarating to see Heti embrace her contemporaries, fucking idiots though they may be, with such anger, affection, and intelligence." - Prospect
"Sheila Heti does know something about how many of us, right now, experience the world, and she has gotten that knowledge down on paper, in a form unlike any other novel I can think of." - The New York Times
“Inscribed on her novel are the sexual mores of the early twenty-first century, the arc of a friendship between young women, and a portrait of Toronto bohemia. … How Should a Person Be? is the sort of diary where the private is put to public service. I’ve always on opening it wanted to hear it blasted from a loudspeaker.” - Christian Lorentzen, Bookforum
How Should a Person Be? tells the story of artists and writers, including Sheila and her best friend Margaux, who are struggling to answer the titular question. The book includes real transcripts, emails, as well as fiction and non-fiction, to tell a very contemporary story about sex, making art, and the complicated dynamics of female friendship.