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Outline: A Novel by [Cusk, Rachel]
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Outline: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 196 customer reviews

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Length: 256 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled

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"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for "Aftermath

""[I] admire Cusk . . . for the gravity and ruthlessness of her self-examination . . . ["Aftermath"] is emotionally raw and deeply uncomfortable-making, while also being finely turned as a literary artifact." --Rebecca Mead, "The New Yorker"

Praise for "Outline"""Outline." It defies ordinary categorisation. It is about authorial invisibility, it involves writing without showing your face. The narrator is a writer who goes to teach creative writing in Greece and becomes enmeshed in other peoples' narratives which Cusk stitches, with fastidious brilliance, into a single fabric." --Kate Kellaway, "The Guardian""Like the Higgs boson, which appears only when bombarded by electrons, Rachel Cusk's nearly nameless narrator flickers into visibility only through her encounters with a series of amazingly eloquent and fascinating interlocutors. Writing at the highest level and with the greatest technical restraint, Cusk manages to describe the painful realities of women's lives by a process of erasure that is itself responsible for that suffering. This is a novel where form and content meld so perfectly as to collapse into each other. I am so much the better for having read it. As if someone finally told me the truth by telling me everything, and nothing." --Jeffrey Eugenides, author of "The Marriage Plot"""Outline," in outline, tells the story of a British novelist newly arrived in Athens, who has been enlisted to teach a weeklong writing seminar. Upon this provocatively slight premise, Cusk has constructed a restrained, incisive narrative of high stylistic polish and stealthy emotional power. Formally inventive, astringently intellectual, and linguistically assured, "Outline" poses the question of where stories come from; it shows, with glittering clarity, why they matter." --Rebecca Mead, author of "My Life in Middlemarch""Rachel Cusk's "Outline" is full of baking light and quiet melancholy and bodies brushing past one another in the heat; it's a subtle and utterly engrossing exploration of the ways we make ourselves known to one another--in stories and anecdotes, through seductions and disputes--and yet remain opaque; how we sketch ourselves as outlines and find these outlines interrogated. Its conversations echo each other deftly, their acute insights gracefully pulling apart the seams of its carefully composed characters to show glimpses of much messier selves within: a series of searing psychic X-rays bleached by coastal light." --Leslie Jamison, author of "The Empathy Exams" 

Praise for "Outline"

""Outline" succeeds powerfully. Among other things, it gets a great variety of human beings down on to the page with both immediacy and depth; an elemental pleasure that makes the book as gripping to read as a thriller . . . a stellar accomplishment." --James Lasdun, "The Guardian"

"[T]his has to be one of the oddest, most breathtakingly original and unsettling novels I've read in a long time ... [E]very single word is earned, precisely tuned, enthralling. "Outline" is a triumph of attitude and daring, a masterclass in tone." --Julie Myerson, "The Observer"

""Outline." It defies ordinary categorisation. It is about authorial invisibility, it involves writing without showing your face. The narrator is a writer who goes to teach creative writing in Greece and becomes enmeshed in other peoples' narratives which Cusk stitches, with fastidious brilliance, into a single fabric." --Kate Kellaway, "The Guardian""[A] uniquely graceful and innovative piece of artistic self-possession, which achieves the rare feat of seamlessly amalgamating form and substance." --Lucy Scholes, "The Independent""Cusk's uncompromising, often brutal intelligence is at full power. So is her technique . . . I can't think of a book that so powerfully resists summary or review . . . Inevitably, the only way to get close to the fascinating and elusive core of "Outline" is to read it." --Sophie Elmhirst, "Financial Times""The writing is brilliant . . . Cusk is always cerebral but I've never noticed her drollery before . . . absorbing, thought-provoking." --Claire Harman, "London Evening Standard""Cusk confounds expectations . . . "Outline" is full of such wonderful surprises: subtle shifts in power and unexpectedly witty interludes." --Elena Seymenliyska, "The Telegraph""Like the Higgs boson, which appears only when bombarded by electrons, Rachel Cusk's nearly nameless narrator flickers into visibility only through her encounters with a series of amazingly eloquent and fascinating interlocutors. Writing at the highest level and with the greatest technical restraint, Cusk manages to describe the painful realities of women's lives by a process of erasure that is itself responsible for that suffering. This is a novel where form and content meld so perfectly as to collapse into each other. I am so much the better for having read it. As if someone finally told me the truth by telling me everything, and nothing." --Jeffrey Eugenides, author of "The Marriage Plot"""Outline," in outline, tells the story of a British novelist newly arrived in Athens, who has been enlisted to teach a weeklong writing seminar. Upon this provocatively slight premise, Cusk has constructed a restrained, incisive narrative of high stylistic polish and stealthy emotional power. Formally inventive, astringently intellectual, and linguistically assured, "Outline" poses the question of where stories come from; it shows, with glittering clarity, why they matter." --Rebecca Mead, author of "My Life in Middlemarch""I opened this book, and read a page, and then a few more pages, and I finished "Outline" before a day and a half had passed, and I am the slowest reader I know, and I have never felt guilty about not finishing a book. "Outline "is amazing. It changes the lighting on the charismatic, mad, maddening monologues so beloved in literature; here we are, on the previously invisible other side of it, seeing something brilliant and irremediably true." --Rivka Galchen, author of "American Innovations" "Rachel Cusk's "Outline" is full of baking light and quiet melancholy and bodies brushing past one another in the heat; it's a subtle and utterly engrossing exploration of the ways we make ourselves known to one another--in stories and anecdotes, through seductions and disputes--and yet remain opaque; how we sketch ourselves as outlines and find these outlines interrogated. Its conversations echo each other deftly, their acute insights gracefully pulling apart the seams of its carefully composed characters to show glimpses of much messier selves within: a series of searing psychic X-rays bleached by coastal light." --Leslie Jamison, author of "The Empathy Exams" 

Praise for "Outline"

Short-listed for the 2014 Goldsmiths Prize

""Outline" succeeds powerfully. Among other things, it gets a great variety of human beings down on to the page with both immediacy and depth; an elemental pleasure that makes the book as gripping to read as a thriller . . . a stellar accomplishment." --James Lasdun, "The Guardian"

"[T]his has to be one of the oddest, most breathtakingly original and unsettling novels I've read in a long time ... [E]very single word is earned, precisely tuned, enthralling. "Outline" is a triumph of attitude and daring, a masterclass in tone." --Julie Myerson, "The Observer"

""Outline." It defies ordinary categorisation. It is about authorial invisibility, it involves writing without showing your face. The narrator is a writer who goes to teach creative writing in Greece and becomes enmeshed in other peoples' narratives which Cusk stitches, with fastidious brilliance, into a single fabric." --Kate Kellaway, "The Guardian"

"Winter bouquets should be offered to the clever and stylish Rachel Cusk: her novel "Outline" is smoothly accomplished, and fascinating both on the surface and in its depths." --Hilary Mantel, "The Guardian"'s Writers Pick the Best Books of 2014

"[T]he most compelling part of "Outline" is its undercurrent of rage . . . [With] polished, analytical language. Cusk's writing is lovely . . . "Outline" is a smart ascetic exercise." --Hannah Tennant-Moore, "Bookforum"

"[A] uniquely graceful and innovative piece of artistic self-possession, which achieves the rare feat of seamlessly amalgamating form and substance." --Lucy Scholes, "The Independent""Cusk's uncompromising, often brutal intelligence is at full power. So is her technique . . . I can't think of a book that so powerfully resists summary or review . . . Inevitably, the only way to get close to the fascinating and elusive core of "Outline" is to read it." --Sophie Elmhirst, "Financial Times""Never less than compelling . . . material that might have been ponderous in other hands is, here, magnetic, thanks to the mystery at the heart of Cusk's book, her exquisite lightness of touch and her glinting wit." --Stephanie Cross, "Daily Mail""A brilliant, perceptive novel, "Outline" was serialised in its entirety by the "Paris Review," which is probably a lot cooler than making the Man Booker shortlist." --Paddy Kehoe, RTE""Outline" is an expertly crafted portrait that asks readers to look deeply into the text for discovery. Those who accept that challenge will be rewarded for the effort." --"Booklist "(Starred review)"This brilliant novel from Cusk . . . shuns fictional convention and frills in favor of a solid structure around a seris of dialogues . . . These 10 remarkable conversations, told with immense control, focus a sharp eye on how we discuss family and our lives." --"Publishers Weekly "(Starred review)"A book whose almost dream-like quality has razor-sharp edges." --Sofka Zinovieff, "Spectator ""Cool but compelling, narrow in focus perhaps, but deep in thought." --Lesley McDowell, "The Scotsman ""An utterly engaging examination of human relationships . . . a compelling read that never once flags." --"The Crack""Described as a 'novel in ten conversations' . . . it turns out to be a clever, fresh device that dispenses with the need for much of a plot and presents instead more of a lush human collage . . . a rich, thoughtful read." --Carol Midgley, "The Times ""Sharply observed . . . everyone the narrator meets has a vivid presence." --Suzi Feay, "Literary Review""The writing is brilliant . . . Cusk is always cerebral but I've never noticed her drollery before . . . absorbing, thought-provoking." --Claire Harman, "London Evening Standard""Cusk confounds expectations . . . "Outline" is full of such wonderful surprises: subtle shifts in power and unexpectedly witty interludes." --Elena Seymenliyska, "The Telegraph"

"This book about love, loss, memory, and the lies we tell ourselves and others exudes a contemplative, melancholy atmosphere tempered by Britsh author Cusk's wonderfully astute observations of people and the visual impressions created by her exquisitely strucutred sentences." --Sally Bissell, "Library Journal"

""Outline" is a quiet, profound book about the problems of living with a sense of purpose." --Johanna Thomas-Corr, " Metro""A tapestry of different voices, its shape emerging as if by happy accident . . . ["Outline"] is a clever thought experiment that's far too readable ever to feel like one." --Lidija Haas, "The Independent on Sunday""Cusk returns to fiction and top form in a novel about the stories we tell ourselves and others . . . rich in human variety and unsentimental empathy." --"Kirkus""Like the Higgs boson, which appears only when bombarded by electrons, Rachel Cusk's nearly nameless narrator flickers into visibility only through her encounters with a series of amazingly eloquent and fascinating interlocutors. Writing at the highest level and with the greatest technical restraint, Cusk manages to describe the painful realities of women's lives by a process of erasure that is itself responsible for that suffering. This is a novel where form and content meld so perfectly as to collapse into each other. I am so much the better for having read it. As if someone finally told me the truth by telling me everything, and nothing." --Jeffrey Eugenides, author of "The Marriage Plot""On a flight to Greece where she is going to be teaching a creative writing class, the narrator begins talking to her neighbour. More accurately, initiating a pattern that will be repeated throughout the encounters and 'conversations' that make up this hypnotic, funny and unsettling novel, he talks "at" her. Gradually her own identity emerges in response to--is given shape by--what is said to her. As one of her students puts it, the story constitutes a series of events she finds herself involved in, but on which she seems to have 'absolutely no influence at all.' The irony, of course, is that all of these tales--the author's tale--hold our attention because of Cusk's unerring command of pace and tone." --Geoff Dyer""Outline," in outline, tells the story of a British novelist newly arrived in Athens, who has been enlisted to teach a weeklong writing seminar. Upon this provocatively slight premise, Cusk has constructed a restrained, incisive narrative of high stylistic polish and stealthy emotional power. Formally inventive, astringently intellectual, and linguistically assured, "Outline" poses the question of where stories come from; it shows, with glittering clarity, why they matter." --Rebecca Mead, author of "My Life in Middlemarch""I opened this book, and read a page, and then a few more pages, and I finished "Outline" before a day and a half had passed, and I am the slowest reader I know, and I have never felt guilty about not finishing a book. "Outline "is amazing. It changes the lighting on the charismatic, mad, maddening monologues so beloved in literature; here we are, on the previously invisible other side of it, seeing something brilliant and irremediably true." --Rivka Galchen, author of "American Innovations" "Rachel Cusk's "Outline" is full of baking light and quiet melancholy and bodies brushing past one another in the heat; it's a subtle and utterly engrossing exploration of the ways we make ourselves known to one another--in stories and anecdotes, through seductions and disputes--and yet remain opaque; how we sketch ourselves as outlines and find these outlines interrogated. Its conversations echo each other deftly, their acute insights gracefully pulling apart the seams of its carefully composed characters to show glimpses of much messier selves within: a series of searing psychic X-rays bleached by coastal light." --Leslie Jamison, author of "The Empathy Exams" 

About the Author

Rachel Cusk is the author of several memoirs and a number of novels, including 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.


Product details

  • File Size: 632 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (September 1, 2015)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2015
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00VQSF1MC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #817,453 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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