Outline

Outline Cover

Outline

By Rachel Cusk

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374228347, 256pp.

Publication Date: January 13, 2015

Description

One of the New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of 2015

A luminous, powerful novel that establishes Rachel Cusk as one of the finest writers in the English language

A man and a woman are seated next to each other on a plane. They get to talking about their destination, their careers, their families. Grievances are aired, family tragedies discussed, marriages and divorces analyzed. An intimacy is established as two strangers contrast their own fictions about their lives.
Rachel Cusk's "Outline" is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and stark, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing during one oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner and discourse. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her neighbor from the plane. 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 a great loss.
"Outline" takes a hard look at the things that are hardest to speak about. It brilliantly captures conversations, investigates people's motivations for storytelling, and questions their ability to ever do so honestly or unselfishly. In doing so it bares the deepest impulses behind the craft of fiction writing. This is Rachel Cusk's finest work yet, and one of the most startling, brilliant, original novels of recent years.

Short-listed for the 2014 Goldsmiths Prize, finalist for the 2014 Folio Prize
Named one of the best fiction books of 2014 by "The New Yorker," "The Guardian," The" Independent" and "Glamour" A "Publishers Weekly" Pick of the Week and "Flavorwire" Staff Pick.



About the Author
Rachel Cusk is the author of three memoirs "A Life's Work," "The Last Supper," and "Aftermath" and several novels: "Saving Agnes," winner of the Whitbread" "First Novel Award; "The Temporary"; "The Country Life," which won a Somerset" "Maugham Award; "The Lucky Ones"; "In the Fold"; "Arlington Park"; and "The Bradshaw Variations." She" "was chosen as one of "Granta"'s 2003 Best" "of Young British Novelists. She lives in" "London."


NPR
Thursday, Jan 29, 2015

Rachel Cusk's novel centers on a writer and mother recovering from divorce who teaches a summer course in Athens, Greece. The narrator has 10 conversations filled with holes, lies and self-deceptions. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Sunday, Jan 11, 2015

Rachel Cusk's new novel Outline reflects the fragmentation of her own life in the story of a writer coming to terms with her dissolving marriage while on a summer teaching trip to Greece. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.