My First Book
By Honor Levy
Penguin Press, 244 pages, $27

By age and disposition, I am only a reluctant convert to the cult of Honor Levy, author of one of 2024’s more anticipated and controversial debuts. Levy is a literary It Girl with a public persona that it’s easy to dislike. She is a child of privilege who has confessed to working while high on Adderall. She writes about drugs and the internet in a stylized manner that can be both opaque and relentless. Her debut collection of short stories, My First Book, received enormous hype and endured a backlash before it ever hit the shelves. Neither writer nor work seems likely to appeal to anyone beyond the Downtown and Brooklyn literary bubbles. So I was surprised to find the book inventive, beautifully written, expressive of its generation, and worthy of the attention it has garnered. To describe it as fun to read might be going too far, but there are certainly payoffs to trying. 

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