Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and lucid, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing during an oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner. She goes swimming with an elderly Greek bachelor. 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 is Rachel Cusk’s finest work yet, and one of the most startling, brilliant and original novels of recent years.
Rachel Cusk is the author of the critically acclaimed trilogy of Outline, Transit and Kudos. She has written 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. Cusk was twice a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. She was chosen as one of Granta’s 2003 Best of Young British Novelists. She lives in London.
“Beautiful.” - Toronto Star
“Cusk is a master of sparse, exquisite prose. . . . [Outline] successfully conveys all of her admirable honesty in the safe harbour of fiction, and somehow delivers more human truths than most memoirs ever could.” - The Globe and Mail
“[A] lethally intelligent novel. . . . Spend much time with this novel and you’ll become convinced that [Cusk] is one of the smartest writers alive. ” - New York Times
“Mesmerizing.” - The New Yorker
“One of the most daringly original and entertaining pieces of fiction I’ve ever read.” - The Observer
“Quietly radical. . . . Ingenious.” - Vogue
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