I'm a Fan: A Novel (Paperback)

I'm a Fan: A Novel By Sheena Patel Cover Image

I'm a Fan: A Novel (Paperback)

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“A fast, fizzing cherry bomb of a debut” (The Observer [UK]) about power, intimacy, and the internet

I stalk a woman on the internet who is sleeping with the same man as I am.

Sheena Patel’s incandescent first novel begins with the unnamed narrator describing her involvement in a seemingly unequal romantic relationship. With a clear and unforgiving eye, she dissects the behavior of all involved, herself included, and makes startling connections between the power struggles at the heart of human relationships and those of the wider world. I’m a Fan offers a devastating critique of class, social media, patriarchy’s hold on us, and our cultural obsession with status and how that status is conveyed.

In this unforgettable debut, Patel announces herself as a dynamic, commanding new voice in literature, capable of rendering a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences viscerally on the page. Sex, brutality, politics, work, art, tenderness, humor—Patel tackles them all while making the reader complicit in the inescapable trap of fandom that seems to define the modern condition.

Product Details ISBN: 9781644452455
ISBN-10: 1644452456
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: September 5th, 2023
Pages: 216
Language: English

Shortlisted for the 2023 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize
Longlisted for the 2023 Women's Prize for Fiction
Longlisted for the 2023 Republic of Consciousness Prize


“I read this debut book basically in one sitting over the summer. . . . The narrative voice is hypnotic, hilarious, and unexpected in all the best ways. You can’t stop reading it.”—Ottessa Moshfegh, Vogue's “5 Books That Changed My Life”

“Sheena Patel’s I'm a Fan is an impolite novel about romantic obsession . . . allowing the narrator’s ferocious id to spin out thrillingly and unapologetically. . . . Patel’s clever novel suggests just how easily such ambitions can be lost in the power imbalance of heterosexual libidinal attachment.”—Tracy O'Neill, The New York Times Book Review

“A queasy, ruthless novel of sexual obsession and self-destruction in the preening, perfectible age of social media. . . . I’m a Fan [is] an unsettling, unmissable read.”—Jamie Hood, Vulture

“Sheena Patel eviscerates the rich kid art world, as exemplified by a particularly toxic ex. It’s written in a speedy, fragmented internal monologue, which makes for an absolutely propulsive read.”—Maggie Lange, Bustle

“The corrosive logic of one-sided relationships is the subject of this dryly funny polemical novel, told from the perspective of a young woman obsessed with her married lover and his ex-girlfriend. . . . A mixture of loathing and desire.”—The New Yorker

“Patel’s debut is one of the first great social media novels. . . . A bold, electric, and ruthless tale of sex, class, status, obsession, self-destruction, and the worst parts of being online, all told from the perspective of a beguiling unnamed narrator.”The Millions

“This blazing debut has already taken the U.K. by storm and will set American readers on fire. Patel explores the politics of sex and relationships in a searing manner. I’m a Fan will shock you in the best way.”Debutiful's “Most Anticipated Debuts of 2023

“Patel’s insights are breathtakingly keen, particularly when detailing how, as a person of color, the narrator is expected to lay her pain bare to receive the pleasure of belonging. . . . Patel acutely captures how identity and intimacy can feel both deepened and deadened in the Instagram era’s attention economy.”Publishers Weekly

“Blisteringly self-aware, the narrator knows she is trapped in a cycle of desiring the things she hates the most: wealth, influence, fans, prestige, expensive objects. . . . Chaotic and cathartic.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A barbed, gut-punch confession. . . . Writing in scathing bursts, Patel mutates a predictable cliché into an implosive exposé of white privilege, gendered power dynamics, [and] women-for-women hypocrisy. . . . An anti-Bridget Jones for the shortfused, screen-addicted generation.”Booklist

“Like the social media feed of a person you follow and envy, Patel has made a book that is tough to look at, yet equally tough to look away from.”—Kathleen Rooney, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

“In the case of the anti-algorithm of this bruisingly cynical novel, if you hate superficiality, you’ll love this.”—Melissa Holbrook Pierson, The Brooklyn Rail

“Fresh and original. . . . [I'm a Fan] explores identity, class, patriarchy and pop culture, all within a framework of heart and humor, irony and iconoclasm.”—Karla J. Strand, Ms. Magazine

I’m a Fan journeys into the gruesome underworld of social media. . . . [The narrator's] sophisticated helplessness reminded me of the fin-de-siècle decadents who rhapsodized about the life-destroying pleasures of opium.”—Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

“Patel fights against the narrator’s marginalized status by imbuing her with a powerful, shattering voice. Instead of side-stepping around race and sex, the narrator bluntly confesses her desires to the reader. . . . In a time where we need to speak openly about racial and sexual violence, Patel’s debut implores readers to wake the hell up.”—Liv Albright, Chicago Review of Books

I’m a Fan is an extraordinary and electrifying psycho-literary experience. Patel is a whirling, slippery, formidable storyteller coaxing the reader into a familiar and sinister interiority. Sticky and instinctual, this book slides us all willingly along the sharp edge of obsession.”—Ella Baxter, author of New Animal

“I’m a Fan
by Sheena Patel is like Pop Rocks in your mouth. Burnt coffee on your tongue. Frostbitten fingers. It’s been a long while since my heart raced over the prospect of turning a page in a book. Sheena Patel is an evil genius of a writer.”—Chloe Caldwell, author of The Red Zone: A Love Story

I'm A Fan digs its nails deep into the contradictions of power and status with a brutally steady gaze. It's rare to find a book so thrillingly unafraid to offend, so willing to forgo niceties, so full of verve and bristling with insight.”—Alexandra Kleeman

“A fast, fizzing cherry bomb of a debut.”—Bidisha, The Observer (UK)

“A brutal, brilliant debut. . . . The desperate, cornered strength of the narrative voice in I’m a Fan is like nothing I’ve ever read.”—Lamorna Ash, The Guardian (UK)

“Spellbinding. . . . [Patel] compellingly dissects the roles race, class, and privilege play in the power dynamics of a relationship. . . . An exhilarating read from a refreshing new author.”—Christiana Bishop, The New Statesman (UK)

“Heads with a terrifying directness to dark (often horribly recognizable) places. . . . Cold fury powers I’m a Fan; it’s meant to be discomforting and it works, mesmerizingly well.”—Siobhan Murphy, The Times (UK)

“Unlike the women in Rooney and Moshfegh’s fiction, the narrator of I’m A Fan is not allusive, but very blunt and cohesive in her recognition of everyone’s culpability for violence and cruelty—including her own. . . . A voice to remember.”—Vartika Rastogi, The Cardiff Review (UK)