Skip to Content

Reading Groups

Obsession and Ennui: My Year of Rest and Relaxation, The Idiot, and I Love Dick with Jennifer Ives Stock

Three Sessions Thursdays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT July 25 to September 5, 2024

The Center for Fiction

The ‘With Books’ option includes all titles required for this group with a 10% discount from our Bookstore.

Meeting Dates:
7/25, 8/15, 9/5
In Person at The Center for Fiction

We’ll revisit the last decade of the 20th century in the company of three strange, erudite, and wildly entertaining novels. We’ll trace how our three irrepressibly original narrators mine boredom and obsession in feminist acts of becoming themselves, chronicling messy processes of self-realization with deadpan humor. We’ll also examine how these books braid elements of autobiography, epistolary novels, Künstlerroman, and Bildungsroman with the novel of ideas, creating at once hyper-specific and strikingly contemporary meditations on culture, art, language, and feminism.

Participants should read My Year of Rest and Relaxation in advance of the first meeting.

What to expect from this reading group: This group is seminar-style and participant-driven, with some with some initial structure and observations to focus and warm-up our conversations.


Led by

  • Jennifer Ives Stock Large

    Jennifer Ives Stock

    Jennifer Ives Stock

    Jennifer Ives Stock is an essayist whose work has appeared in the Iowa Review, the Yale Review, the New England Review, the Georgia Review, Salmagundi, Hotel Amerika, and the Normal School. Her essays “Alice and Jean,” “Lighter than Air” and “Parrot on a Stone Plinth” were awarded Notable distinctions in the Best American Essays of 2019, 2021, and 2023. She is the recipient of the 2019 New England Review Award for Emerging Writers. She is currently a Lecturer in Writing at Yale.