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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 186

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The protagonist, who is unnamed, is a twenty-something, female, college-educated, former art gallery assistant in New York City. She describes herself as “tall and thin and blond and pretty and young.” Her ambition, or lack thereof, is to “fade away from life.”

For much of the novel, she is alone in her apartment, carrying out her plan to “hibernate,” or retreat from the world in a drug-fueled, relaxed state. For part of the time, however, she interacts with the following characters: a psychiatrist, Dr. Tuttle, who prescribes boatloads of drugs without blinking an eye; her former boyfriend, a banker named Trevor; and Ping Xi, an eccentric artist friend.

The narrator’s relationship with her closest female friend, Reva, an ex-college roommate, cannot really be described as close. Reva, an insurance broker, is also having trouble adjusting to adult life; she is caught in an affair with a married man, struggles with bulimia, and finds no satisfaction in her personal or work life. Still, Reva’s concern for her friend is rather touching, as it brings her to her apartment for her own style of welfare checks.