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Fiction Literary

Alphabetical Diaries

by (author) Sheila Heti

Knopf Canada
Initial publish date
Feb 2024
Literary, Biographical, Contemporary Women
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2024
    List Price

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An enthralling work from one of our greatest literary innovators, shortlisted for the Giller and winner of the GG for Fiction.

A little over a decade ago, Sheila Heti—the award-winning author of a string of modern classics including How Should a Person Be?, Motherhood, and Pure Colour—began looking back at the diaries she'd kept over the previous ten years, searching for signs of deeper change inside herself. She loaded all 500,000 words of her journals into Microsoft Excel, to order the sentences alphabetically and seek out patterns and repetitions. How many times had she written, “I hate him,” for example? With the sentences untethered from the narrative of her diaries, she started to see herself—and the Self—in a new way: as something quite solid, anchored by shockingly few characteristic preoccupations. Returning to the project over the years, something more universal and novelistic emerged.
Alphabetical Diaries is the sublime and probing result—one that rises to the heights of artistry and insight for which Heti is rightfully acclaimed.

About the author

Sheila Heti is the acclaimed author of the novel How Should a Person Be?, the story collection The Middle Stories, which was published in Germany, France, The Netherlands, the United States, and Spain, and the novel Ticknor, which was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award. Her writing has appeared in various literary anthologies and in several US and Canadian publications, including New York Times Magazine, Esquire, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and Brick. Heti is also the creator of the popular Toronto and New York-based lecture series, Trampoline Hall. She studied playwriting at the National Theatre School in Montreal, and philosophy and art history at the University of Toronto. Sheila Heti lives in Toronto.

Sheila Heti's profile page

Other titles by Sheila Heti