“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.
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
“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
“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
“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)