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An original and hilarious satire of both our political culture and those who rage against it, The Book of Ayn follows a writer from New York to Los Angeles to Lesbos as she searches for artistic and spiritual fulfillment in radical selfishness, altruism, and ego-death.
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.
“I had the rare experience while reading The Book of Ayn of slowly realizing I had stumbled on something so good that it was changing my taste. So funny, so clever, so alive to the absurdity of contemporary life without reverting to the boring cynicism that would be so easy. I loved it.” —Megan Nolan, author of Ordinary Human Failings
"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