Sheila Heti

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Photograph: Sylvia Plachy


Assistant: Seren Adams


Sheila Heti is the author of five books, and works as a Contributing Editor for The Believer. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, GuardianLondon Review of Booksn+1, McSweeney’sDazed & Confused, and other places. Her work has been translated into German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Vietnamese and Serbian. She studied playwriting at the National Theatre School, and art history and philosophy at the University of Toronto. She is the creator of the popular Trampoline Hall lecture series. She lives in Toronto.

Sheila's fifth book, HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE ?, was a great success in North America and was published in the UK by Harvill Secker in January 2013.


'Funny… odd, original, and nearly unclassifiable... Heti does know something about how many of us, right now, experience the world, and she has gotten that knowledge down on paper, in a form unlike any other novel I can think of' New York Times Book Review

'[Heti] has an appealing restlessness, a curiosity about new forms, and an attractive freedom from pretentiousness or cant… How Should a Person Be? offers a vital and funny picture of the excitements and longueurs of trying to be a young creator in a free, late-capitalist Western City… This talented writer may well have identified a central dialectic of twenty-first-century postmodern being' New Yorker

'Brutally honest and stylistically inventive, cerebral and sexy, this ‘novel from life’ employs a grab bag of literary forms and narrative styles on its search for the truth…meandering and entertaining exploration of the big questions, rousting aesthetic, moral, religious and ethical concerns most novels wouldn’t touch.'  San Francisco Chronicle

'An engaging mashup of memoir, fiction, self-help and philosophy' Guardian

'A humorous, quixotic quest for selfhood' Telegraph

'Terribly compelling' Independent


Publication DetailsNotes

McSweeney's McMullens

The first children's book from Sheila Heti, who combines withh painter Clare Rojas, asks big questions with a gentle hand. WE NEED A HORSE is a timeless book for quiet moods, and makes especially good reading for anyone who likes to ask "Why?"


Publication DetailsNotes

Harvill Secker

Reeling from a failed marriage, Sheila, a twentysomething playwright, finds herself unsure of how to live and create. When Margaux, a talented painter and free spirit, and Israel, a sexy and depraved artist, enter her life, Sheila hopes that through close—sometimes too close—observation of her new friend, her new lover, and herself, she might regain her footing in art and life.
A shameless exploration into the way we live now, it breathes fresh wisdom into the eternal questions: What is the sincerest way to love? What kind of person should you be?


Farrar, Straus & Giroux

On a cold, rainy night, an aging bachelor named George Ticknor prepares to visit his childhood friend Prescott, a successful man who is now one of the leading intellectual lights of their generation. With a lifetime of guilt and insecurity weighing upon his soul, he sets out for the Prescotts' dinner party. Distantly inspired by the real-life friendship between the great historian William Hickling Prescott and his biographer, Ticknor is a witty and a biting history of resentment and a one-sided friendship.


House of Anansi

A series of cryptic fairy tales with morals subtley woven in via the quality of the telling and the details that are disclosed along the way.


Publication DetailsNotes

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

From thoughts about conflict resolution in the Middle East to observations about loud music in rowdy neighbourhoods. From questions on the function of spam filters to ideas on how to edit our own lives. "The Chairs Are Where the People Go" is an invigorating, entertaining handbook for the times we live in.