The Last Supper
A Summer in Italy
By Rachel Cusk
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374184032, 256pp.
Publication Date: May 26, 2009
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Casting off a northern winter and an orderly life, a family decides to sell everything and go to Italy to search for art and its meanings, for freedom from routine, for a different path into the future. The award-winning writer Rachel Cusk describes a three-month journey around the Italy of Raphael and rented villas, of the Piero della Francesca trail and the tourist furnace of Amalfi, of soccer and the simple glories of pasta and gelato.
With her husband and two children, Cusk uncovers the mystery of a foreign language, the perils and pleasures of unbelonging, and the startling thrill of discovery—at once historic and intimate. Both sharp and humane in its exploration of the desire to travel and to escape, of art and its inspirations, of beauty and ugliness, and of the challenge of balancing domestic life with creativity, The Last Supper is an astonishing memoir.
Rachel Cusk was born in 1967. She is the author of the memoir A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother and of six novels: Saving Agnes, which won the Whitbread First Novel Award; The Temporary; The Country Life, which won a Somerset Maugham Award; The Lucky Ones, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award; In the Fold; and Arlington Park, which was shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. In 2003, Cusk was chosen as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. She lives in Brighton, England.