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Insightful,
Dramatic,
Brilliant

2 reviews

Outline: A Novel
by Rachel Cusk

Published: 2015-01-13
Hardcover : 256 pages
3 members reading this now
12 clubs reading this now
1 member has read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members

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 ...

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Introduction

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

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Great book for discussion!"by rochellegridley (see profile) 09/28/17

This book, although a quick read and deceptively non-eventful, caused more discussion in our book group than any book before. We loved discussing the choices made by the author and meaning of the various... (read more)

 
  "Outline by Rachel Cusak"by BJean (see profile) 10/11/16

This book is a deceptively easy read. The key to understanding the author is in each of the stories and we had to re-read the book to see the clever commentary. Look for the outlines.

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