The Weirdos by Ottessa Moshfegh

You can read this story in Moshfegh’s book of short stories, Homesick for Another World: Stories (p. 53), at The Paris Review website (paywalled after half of the story), or through your library (ISSN: 0031-2037).


In this first-person short story, the narrator tells about her eccentric boyfriend, who she describes as childish, superstitious, and short. She hates him but relishes him “in certain ways.” She is unhappy but unable to make the changes she fantasizes about. She doesn’t want her boyfriend to be happy, either. She admits she is not trapped in the relationship, but something keeps her from leaving.


It is an outstanding character-driven narrative. The characters are rich, the setting is alive, and the prose includes some wonderful bits. Moshfegh presents an odd pair of characters and then makes you empathize with them.



I empathize deeply with the unreliable narrator. Many of us struggle with changing our situation, even when our situation is actively making us miserable. I also empathize with the boyfriend. He is under-educated and terrified of not succeeding. I say the narrator is unreliable because while honest about her feelings, she never seems truthful to herself (or us) about what causes them.


I watched him make the bed. His sheets were a poly-cotton blend, stained, faded, and pilly pastel landscapes.

Page 53

“Did I show you my yellow sports jacket? I bought it at a vintage boutique,” he said. “It was really expensive. It’s awesome.”

I’d seen it in the closet. It was a contemporary, size 8 woman’s blazer, according to the label.

Page 57

Author Bio

Ottessa Moshfegh (Wikipedia)

Story Genres

  • Literary Fiction
  • Psychological Fiction
  • Contemporary Fiction
  • Drama

Links to Work