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Second Place

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Rachel Cusk is the author of the Outline trilogy, the memoirs A Life's Work and Aftermath, and se... Read More

Product Description

Rachel Cusk is the author of the Outline trilogy, the memoirs A Life's Work and Aftermath, and several other works of fiction and non-fiction. She is a Guggenheim fellow. She lives in Paris.Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2021

'A classic, but with contemporary urgency thumping through it.'
Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond

A woman invites a famed artist to the remote coastal landscape where she lives. Drawn to his paintings, she believes his vision may penetrate the mystery at the centre of her life. But as a long, dry summer sets in, his provocative presence soon twists the patterns of her secluded household.

'The most singular book . . . A psychodrama that is both timeless and up-to-the minute . . . Truly one of a kind.' Justine Jordan, Guardian

'A novel of deep insight and scarring honesty.' Martin Chilton, Independent

'Re-sets the dial yet again.' Claire Harman, Evening Standard

'Extraordinary . . . fearless.' Alex Clark, The Spectator

'Glittering brilliance.' Jon Day, Financial TimesFrom the author of the Outline trilogy, a fable of human destiny and decline, enacted in a closed system of intimate, fractured relationships. Cusk has glimpsed the central truth of modern life . . . She moves through it as a blasted centre full only of instinct and superhuman hearing and hackles.Rachel Cusk is always an exciting writer: striking and challenging, with a distinctive cool prose voice, and behind that coolness something untamed and full of raw force . . .Bewildering and bewitching.A stranger comes to stay in this fascinating, uncomfortable exploration of creativity, the male gaze and the gendered experience of freedom. Cusk's story of a female writer's power struggle with a male artist is one of the first novels to take inspiration from lockdown.Ever inventive, Cusk keeps pushing the novel into new terrain.Cusk is really interested in ideas - how to live, what freedom means, the ways women subsume themselves into the lives of others . The hybrid form that results - half-novel, half-not - has a timeless, enduring quality.A compelling psychodrama that is full of surprising, stimulating reflections on creativity, art, culture, power structures, parenthood, and the moral questions that animate our lives . a novel of deep insight and scarring honesty.One of the most celebrated and cited of all British writers.[Cusk's] genius is that in deliberately blurring a boundary of her own - that between a writer and her subject, between the expectation of autobiography so often attached to writing by women, and the carapace of pure invention so often unthinkably afforded to men - she tricks us into believing that her preoccupations and failings, her privileges and apparent assumptions, are not our own. By the time we realise what has happened, it is too late: our own surface has been disturbed, our own complacent compartment dismantled. It is a shock, but as the narrator of Second Place reminds us, "shock is sometimes necessary, for without it we would drift into entropy". Cusk is necessary too - deeply so, and Second Place, exquisite in the cruelty of its rightness, reminds us why.Extraordinary[An] extraordinary exchange between the id and the ego, this fearless examination of the psycho-drama that plays itself out within us.Second Place shows the freedoms of art to be ambiguous and often entirely arbitrary. They are the results not of visionary inspiration but of practice, patience and the dullness of repetition . It's a sentiment that helps understand the tragedy of this book, as well as the monumental achievement of Cusk's recent novels, which possess a hard-won freedom and a glittering brilliance which could only be achieved after long and rigorous training.A compelling alchemy.Luminous.'Rachel Cusk is one of our most distinctive and pioneering literary voices . Interrogating male privilege and female creative identity, this atmospheric, hypnotic novel reveals the perils of wishing to see oneself through an artist's eyes.'

Product Details

Title: Second Place
Author: Rachel Cusk
SKU: BK0470506
EAN: 9780571366309

About Author

Rachel Cusk is the author of the Outline trilogy, the memoirs A Life's Work and Aftermath, and several other works of fiction and non-fiction. She is a Guggenheim fellow. She lives in Paris.

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