My New Novel / The down payment
“You think everyone hates you, Jerome. It might be the one thing you’re getting right.” In Ottessa Moshfegh’s acerbic narrative, My New Novel, struggling writer Jerome Littlefield trades verbal blows with his mother; his therapist; and Stacey, a pregnant stripper who responds to his appeal for an “attentive individual to sit and listen. No speaking required.”
Matched with an artwork by Issy Wood, the publication inaugurates Gagosian’s Picture Books, an imprint conceived by author Emma Cline and dedicated to publishing fiction by leading authors alongside contributions by celebrated contemporary artists.
Produced in response to Moshfegh’s writing, Wood’s painting The down payment (2021) portrays a weeping Jerome in the midst of what the artist calls “the most directly surreal part of the story.” The pairing of writer and artist was an obvious one, says Cline. “Both Moshfegh and Wood share a gothic, spiky humor and an attunement to the darker currents of the world, the hidden realms where shame and desire intersect.”