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Rachel Cusk - Author

About the Author

Rachel Cusk was born to English parents in Canada in 1967, and spent most of her early childhood in Los Angeles. On coming to England in 1975, she was sent to a Catholic convent school in Cambridge before reading English at New College, Oxford. After graduation, she lived and worked in Madrid for a year before travelling in Central America. Her first novel Saving Agnes won the Whitbread First Novel Award in 1993. She is also the author of The Temporary and Country Life. Rachel now lives permanently in North London, concentrating on her writing, as well reviewing regularly for The Times and TLS.

Featured books by Rachel Cusk

Outline A Novel

Outline A Novel

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/09/2014

Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015. Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2014. A woman writer goes to Athens in the height of summer to teach a writing course. Though her own circumstances remain indistinct, she becomes the audience to a chain of narratives, as the people she meets tell her one after another the stories of their lives. Beginning with the neighbouring passenger on the flight out and his tales of fast boats and failed marriages, the storytellers talk of their loves and ambitions and pains, their anxieties, their perceptions and daily lives. In the stifling heat and noise of the city the sequence of voice begins to weave a complex human tapestry. The more they talk the more elliptical their listener becomes, as she shapes and directs their accounts until certain themes begin to emerge: the experience of loss, the nature of family life, the difficulty of intimacy and the mystery of creativity itself.

Other books by Rachel Cusk

Kudos

Kudos

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: eBook Release Date: 05/06/2018

Rachel Cusk, the award-winning and critically acclaimed author ofOutlineandTransit, completes the transcendent literary trilogy with Kudos, a novel of unsettling power.A woman writer visits a Europe in flux, where questions of personal and political identity are rising to the surface and the trauma of change is opening up new possibilities of loss and renewal. Within the rituals of literary culture, Faye finds the human story in disarray amid differing attitudes toward the public performance of the creative persona. She begins to identify among the people she meets a tension between truth and representation, a fissure that accrues great dramatic force asKudosreaches a profound and beautiful climax.In this conclusion to her groundbreaking trilogy, Cusk unflinchingly explores the nature of family and art, justice and love, and the ultimate value of suffering. She is without question one of our most important living writers.

Transit

Transit

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2018

In the wake of her family's collapse, a writer and her two young sons move to London. The upheaval is the catalyst for a number of transitions- - personal, moral, artistic, and practical - as she endeavours to construct a new reality for herself and her children. In the city, she is made to confront aspects of living that she has, until now, avoided, and to consider questions of vulnerability and power, death and renewal, in what becomes her struggle to reattach herself to, and believe in, life. Filtered through the impersonal gaze of its keenly intelligent protagonist, Transit sees Rachel Cusk delve deeper into the themes first raised in her critically acclaimed novel Outline, and offers up a penetrating and moving reflection on childhood and fate, the value of suffering, the moral problems of personal responsibility and the mystery of change. '[Transit] confirms that one of the most fascinating projects in contemporary fiction is unfolding in Rachel Cusk's trilogy.' Adam Foulds

Kudos

Kudos

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2018

SHORTLISTED FOR THE GOLDSMITHS PRIZE A woman on a plane listens to the stranger in the seat next to hers telling her the story of his life: his work, his marriage, and the harrowing night he has just spent burying the family dog. That woman is Faye, who is now on her way to Europe to promote the book she has just published. Once she reaches her destination, the conversations she has with the people she meets - about art, about family, about politics, about love, about sorrow and joy, about justice and injustice - are the most far-reaching questions human beings ask. These conversations, the last of them with her son, rise dramatically and majestically to a beautiful conclusion. Kudos completes Rachel Cusk's trilogy with overwhelming power. The trilogy is one of the great achievements in fiction.

Outline A Novel

Outline A Novel

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2018

Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and lucid, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing over an oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her student in storytelling exercises. She meets other writers for dinner. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her seatmate from the place. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves, their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face great a great loss. Outline is the first book in a short and yet epic cycle - a masterful trilogy which will be remembered as one of the most significant achievements of our times. 'Outline succeeds powerfully. Among other things, it gets a great variety of human beings down on the page with both immediacy and depth; an elemental pleasure that makes the book as gripping to read as a thriller... A stellar accomplishment.' James Lasdun, Guardian

Transit

Transit

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: eBook Release Date: 17/01/2017

The stunning new novel from the author of Outline, a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and one of The New York Times Book Reviews Ten Best Books of the YearIn the wake of family collapse, a writer moves to London with her two young sons. The process of upheaval is the catalyst for a number of transitionspersonal, moral, artistic, practicalas she endeavors to construct a new reality for herself and her children. In the city she is made to confront aspects of living she has, until now, avoided, and to consider questions of vulnerability and power, death and renewal, in what becomes her struggle to reattach herself to, and believe in, life.Filtered through the impersonal gaze of its keenly intelligent protagonist, Transit sees Rachel Cusk delve deeper into the themes first raised in her critically acclaimed novel Outline, and offers up a penetrating and moving reflection on childhood and fate, the value of suffering, the moral problems of personal responsibility, and the mystery of change. In this precise, short, and yet epic novel, Cusk manages to describe the most elemental experiences, the liminal qualities of life, through a narrative near-silence that draws language toward it. She captures with unsettling restraint and honesty the longing to both inhabit and flee ones life and the wrenching ambivalence animating our desire to feel real.

Medea Euripides

Medea Euripides

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/09/2015

Medea's marriage is breaking up. And so is everything else. Testing the limits of revenge and liberty, Euripides' seminal play cuts to the heart of gender politics and asks what it means to be a woman and a wife. One of world drama's most infamous characters is brought to controversial new life by Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold (The Merchant of Venice, King Charles III, American Psycho) and award-winning writer Rachel Cusk (Outline, Aftermath).

The Temporary

The Temporary

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2013

When one of corporate London's transient typists unexpectedly crosses Ralph Loman's path, her disruptive beauty ignites a brief blaze of excitement in his troubled heart. But Francine Snaith is ravenous for attention, driven by a thirst for conquest, and when Ralph tries politely to extricate himself he finds he is bound in chains of consequence from which it seems there is no escape.

Saving Agnes

Saving Agnes

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

Agnes Day - sub-editor, suburbanite, failure extraordinaire - is unwell. Terminally middle-class, incurably romantic and chronically confused by life's most basic interactions, Agnes discovers disconcerting gaps in her general understanding of the world, making recovery unlikely. Life and love go on without her, but with a little facade, she can pass herself off as a success. Beneath the fiction, however, the burden of truth becomes harder to bear. 'She is a writer with a poet's eye for convincing detail, and touches on the raw emotions of life in a way that is affecting and true.' Sunday Telegraph 'Told with irony and insight and some surreally beautiful imagery. At times it made me laugh out loud.' Sheila Mackay

Aftermath On Marriage and Separation

Aftermath On Marriage and Separation

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

In the winter of 2009, Rachel Cusk's marriage of ten years came to an end. In the months that followed, life as she had known it came apart, like a jigsaw dismantled into a heap of broken-edged pieces . Aftermath chronicles this perilous journey as the author redefines herself as a single woman and creates a new version of family life for her daughters. She discovers previously unknown strengths and freedoms but also finds herself suddenly vulnerable to outsiders, unwelcome advice, social displacement and the absence of a clear authority. The pressure to reconstruct a 'normal' life for her daughters competes with the sense that nothing feels normal at all. Aftermathis a masterly work in which the author, at her most candid and rigorous, charts the largely unwritten journey back to order from the chaos that is left when a family breaks apart.

The Country Life

The Country Life

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/10/2011

Stella Benson sets off for Hilltop, a tiny Sussex village housing a family that is somewhat larger than life. Her hopes for the Maddens may be high, but her station among them, as au pair to their irascible son Martin - is undeniably low. What could possibly have driven her to leave her home, job and life in London for such rural ignominy? Why has she severed all contact with her parents? Why is she so reluctant to talk about her past? The Country Life, Rachel Cusk's third novel, is a rich and subtle story about embarrassment, awkwardness and being alone; about families, or the lack of them; and about love in some peculiar guises.

The Last Supper A Summer in Italy

The Last Supper A Summer in Italy

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/06/2010

When prize-winning author Rachel Cusk decides to travel to Italy for a summer with her husband and two young children she has no idea of the trials and wonders that lie in store. Their journey leads them to both the expected - the Piero della Francesca trail and queues at the Vatican - and the surprising - an amorous Scottish ex-pat and a longing for home - all seen through Cusk's sharp and humane perspective. Exploring the desire to travel and to escape, art and its inspirations, beauty and ugliness, and the challenge of balancing domestic life with creativity, The Last Supper is a wonderful travel book about life on the most famous art trail in the world, from one of Britain's most pre-eminent writers.

The Bradshaw Variations

The Bradshaw Variations

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2010

Since leaving his job to look after Alexa, his eight-year-old daughter, Thomas Bradshaw has found the structure of his daily piano practice and the study of musical form brings a nourishment to these difficult middle years. His pursuit of a more artistic way of life shocks and irritates his parents and his in-laws. Why has he swapped roles with Tonie Swann, his intense, intellectual wife who has accepted a demanding full-time University job? How can this be good for Alexa and for the family as a whole? Meanwhile Tonie tunes herself out of domestic life, into the harder, headier world of work where long-since forgotten memories of herself are awakened. She soon finds herself outside their tight family circle and alive to previously unimaginable possibilities . . .

The Bradshaw Variations

The Bradshaw Variations

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2010

Since leaving his job to look after Alexa, his eight-year-old daughter, Thomas Bradshaw has found the structure of his daily piano practice and the study of musical form brings a nourishment to these difficult middle years. His pursuit of a more artistic way of life shocks and irritates his parents and his in-laws. Why has he swapped roles with Tonie Swann, his intense, intellectual wife who has accepted a demanding full-time University job? How can this be good for Alexa and for the family as a whole? Meanwhile Tonie tunes herself out of domestic life, into the harder, headier world of work where long-since forgotten memories of herself are awakened. She soon finds herself outside their tight family circle and alive to previously unimaginable possibilities . . .

A Life's Work

A Life's Work

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2008

When first published in 2001, it divided female critics and readers. One famous columnist wrote a piece demanding that Cusk's children were taken into care, that was she was unfit to look after them. Oprah Winfrey invited her on the show to defend herself and the book as protests grew about the its honest, gritty account of the misery of those early months. It is a seminal, stand-out book on the complications of being an ambivalent mum in an age of white-washed, Annabel Karmel'd new families.

In the Fold

In the Fold

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Michael first met the Hanburys of Egypt Hill when he was a young student. He was intrigued and delighted by their bohemian lifestyle and bravado. Twelve years later, married with a young son, Michael is invited back to the house and jumps at the chance of escaping his increasingly turbulent domestic situation. But his illusions about the family are shattered as the rotten core of the Hanbury myth is gradually revealed. Intimate in its insight, epic in its emotional scope, In the Fold is a brilliant, clever, often painful story of how we can become undone by our yearning to belong.

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