The debut novel from The Lonely City’s Olivia Laing, Crudo merges autobiography and imagination in a story of blistering immediacy and waspish wit.
Delivered with an extraordinary, visceral immediacy, Crudo spins a new kind of fiction that speaks directly to our times. Acerbic, witty and daring it’s a novel that asks how - in the face of the overwhelming events of the present-day - we learn to live now.
Kathy assessed her life choices. Not bad. She was forty, she had a small diamond on her right hand, she was looking at a mountain, no one was currently in her way… she was doing her best.
Kathy is a writer. Kathy is getting married. It's the summer of 2017 and the whole world is falling apart.
From a Tuscan hotel for the super-rich to a Brexit-paralysed UK, Kathy spends the first summer of her 40s trying to adjust to making a lifelong commitment just as Trump is tweeting the world into nuclear war.
But it's not only Kathy who's changing. Political, social and natural landscapes are all in peril. Fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is hotting up. Is it really worth learning to love when the end of the world is nigh? And how do you make art, let alone a life, when one rogue tweet could end it all.
Known for her incisive, insightful non-fiction Olivia Laing’s first foray into fiction radically rewires the novel in a brilliant, funny and emphatically raw account of love in the apocalypse. A Goodbye to Berlin for the 21st century, Crudo charts in real time what it was like to live and love in the horrifying summer of 2017, from the perspective of a commitment-phobic peripatetic artist who may or may not be the experimental artist, punk poet and novelist Kathy Acker…
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 142 g
Dimensions: 197 x 129 x 13 mm
'Written at a war-mongering time of rising nationalisms, the vitality of Olivia Laing's questioning love letter to life and to art will blow you away' - Deborah Levy
'… the novel is moving and beautiful when Kathy tries to overcom her fear of crossing dividing lines, when she learns that "love is the world, pain is the world' - The Financial Times
'Fresh and funny autofiction' -The Guardian
'I am in awe of Olivia Laing's insights, braininess, and that something that feels like recklessness until it lands.' - Peter Carey
'We hereby acknowledge the irresistible rise of Olivia Laing, a writer incapable of anything other than full-on, nonstop brilliance. Crudo, her secular creed for crazy times, only proves her magical moment: to be there in it, and to take us along, too. One long electric dream, spinning with intimate energy and the sharpest saddest funniest humour, it's so utterly in-the-moment that you'll forget you aren't reading about yourself.' - Philip Hoare
'Witty, hectic, effervescent, and deliciously derailing, Olivia Laing's first venture into fiction holds up a mirror to our troubled times' - Rupert Thomson
'Reading Olivia Laing's short, sleek novel Crudo is like seeing the (very) recent past through a wall of mirrors. Laing adopts fragments of Kathy Acker's writings and life to arrive at a narrative style that's readable, shockingly new, and surprisingly tender. I didn't want it to stop.' - Chris Kraus
'Chic, compassionate, crabby, perspicacious, and marvellously playful - Crudo is a huge-hearted novel that conveys the weight of the world with the lightest touch - I loved the mercurial energy that flew off its fast-turning pages.' - Claire-Louise Bennett
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“What would Kathy say.....”
Olivia Laing cleverly imagined if Kathy Acker lived, she would have written a novel called “ Crudo “ , constantly talking and giving an opinion about the changing political and artistic climate and her personal state.... More
A snap shot in time? The time period being very recent so the book flowed along nicely as you could place yourself very easily in the surroundings and the current events.
But it had me thinking if we had read this... More
Crudo is an immediate, sensory record of life in the post-Trump, mid-Brexit era. Laing's prose is urgent and, like a magpie, she writes and collects resources that glisten, while maintaining a sense of humour in... More
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