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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

Second Place

Second Place

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/05/2021

From the acclaimed author of the Outline trilogy, a fable of human destiny and decline, enacted in a closed system of intimate, fractured relationships. Praise for the Outline trilogy: 'A landmark in twenty-first-century English literature.' Observer 'Precise and haunting ... Unforgettable.' Jenny Offill 'Achieves a kind of formal perfection ... masterly.' Sally Rooney 'A work of great stunning beauty, deep insight, and great originality.' Monica Ali A woman invites a famed artist to visit the remote coastal region where she lives, in the belief that his vision will penetrate the mystery of her life and landscape. Over the course of one hot summer, his provocative presence provides the frame for a study of female fate and male privilege, of the geometries of human relationships, and of the struggle to live morally between our internal and external worlds. With its examination of the possibility that art can both save and destroy us, Second Place is deeply affirming of the human soul, while grappling with its darkest demons.

Second Place

Second Place

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/05/2021

From the acclaimed author of the Outline trilogy, a fable of human destiny and decline, enacted in a closed system of intimate, fractured relationships. Praise for the Outline trilogy: 'A landmark in twenty-first-century English literature.' Observer 'Precise and haunting ... Unforgettable.' Jenny Offill 'Achieves a kind of formal perfection ... masterly.' Sally Rooney 'A work of great stunning beauty, deep insight, and great originality.' Monica Ali A woman invites a famed artist to visit the remote coastal region where she lives, in the belief that his vision will penetrate the mystery of her life and landscape. Over the course of one hot summer, his provocative presence provides the frame for a study of female fate and male privilege, of the geometries of human relationships, and of the struggle to live morally between our internal and external worlds. With its examination of the possibility that art can both save and destroy us, Second Place is deeply affirming of the human soul, while grappling with its darkest demons.

Bloom

Bloom

Author: Rachel Cusk, Naomi Wood Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/10/2020

Coventry

Coventry

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2020

'Cements her reputation as one of the most fierce and elegant chroniclers of how we live now.' Stephanie Merritt, Observer Coventry is a collection of essays about choices, womanhood and art. Encompassing memoir and cultural and literary criticism, with pieces on gender, politics and writers such as D. H. Lawrence, Olivia Manning and Natalia Ginzburg, it is essential reading for our age: fearless, unrepentantly erudite, both startling and rewarding to behold.

In the Fold

In the Fold

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

When eighteen-year-old Michael visits the Hanbury's remote family home he is captivated by their bohemian lifestyle. Years later, when he marries the strong-willed, beautiful Rebecca, he is secretly hoping to create his own version of that free-thinking family, but after the birth of their first child, their marriage begins to flounder. The chance to escape once more to his friend's country house comes as a welcome relief, until he discovers a family changed, and his own romantic notions of country life begin to disintegrate . . .

The Bradshaw Variations

The Bradshaw Variations

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Thomas Bradshaw and Tonie Swann are experiencing the classic symptoms of marriage in its middle years: comfortable house, happy-enough daughter and an eerie sense that life might be happening elsewhere. Then Tonie accepts a big promotion at work and Thomas agrees to become a stay-at-home dad. While Thomas is suddenly faced with the daily silence of an empty house, Tonie finds herself alive to previously unimagined possibilities. And at the head of the family, the ageing Bradshaw parents continue their marital dynamic of bickering and petty undermining.

The Temporary

The Temporary

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Ralph Loman works in an unsatisfying job, for a free London newspaper, when Francine Snaith, a temporary secretary for a corporate finance firm, unexpectedly crosses his path at a party. Her beauty ignites a blaze of excitement in his troubled heart. But Francine is ravenous for attention, driven by a thirst for conquest, and when Ralph tries politely to extricate himself, he finds he is bound by chains of consequence from which it seems there is no escape. The Temporary paints a merciless portrait of the cut and thrust of modern romance, work and life.

Saving Agnes

Saving Agnes

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award Agnes Day - sub-editor, suburbanite, failure extraordinaire - has discovered disconcerting gaps in her general understanding of the world. Terminally middle-class and incurably romantic, Agnes finds herself chronically confused by the most basic interactions. 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.

The Last Supper

The Last Supper

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

When 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 and the surprising, all seen through Cusk's sharp and humane perspective.

Coventry

Coventry

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/08/2019

A GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR After the publication of Outline, Transit and Kudos - in which Rachel Cusk redrew the boundaries of fiction - this writer of uncommon brilliance returns with a series of essays that offers new insights on the themes at the heart of her life's work. Encompassing memoir and cultural and literary criticism, with pieces on gender, politics and writers such as D. H. Lawrence, Olivia Manning and Natalia Ginzburg, this collection is essential reading for our age: fearless, unrepentantly erudite, both startling and rewarding to behold. The result is a cumulative sense of how the frank, deeply intelligent sensibility - so evident in her stories and novels - reverberates in the wider context of Cusk's literary process. Coventry grants its readers a rare opportunity to see a mind at work that will influence literature for time to come.

The Country Life

The Country Life

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/05/2019

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.

Aftermath

Aftermath

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/05/2019

In the winter of 2009, Rachel Cusk's marriage of ten years came to an end. Candid and revelatory, Aftermath chronicles the perilous journey as the author redefines herself and creates a new version of family life for her daughters.

A Life's Work

A Life's Work

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/05/2019

A Life's Work is Rachel Cusk's funny, moving, brutally honest account of her early experiences of motherhood. An education in babies, books, breast-feeding, toddler groups, broken nights, bad advice and never being alone, it is a landmark work, which has provoked acclaim and outrage in equal measure.

Arlington Park

Arlington Park

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/05/2019

A SUNDAY TIMES TOP 100 NOVEL OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY Arlington Park is an ordinary English suburb. Over the course of a single day, the novel moves from one household to another, revealing its characters: Juliet, enraged at the victory of men over women in family life; Amanda, warding off thoughts of death with obsessive housework; Solly, about to give birth to her fourth child; Maisie, struggling to accept provincial life; and Christine, the optimist and host of a dinner part where the neighbours come together.

Kudos

Kudos

Author: Rachel Cusk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2019

'A landmark in twenty-first-century English literature.' Andrew Anthony, Observer 'Kudos is one of the most astoundingly original and necessary books I've ever read. It made me laugh, think and cry . . . I envy anyone who hasn't read it yet.' Julie Myerson, Guardian 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 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 - include the most far-reaching questions human beings ask. These conversations, the last of them on the phone with her son, rise dramatically and majestically to a beautiful conclusion. Following the novels Outline and Transit, Kudos completes Rachel Cusk's trilogy with overwhelming power.

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.

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