Coventry: Essays

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sep 17, 2019 - Literary Collections - 256 pages

NPR's Favorite Books of 2019

Rachel Cusk redrew the boundaries of fiction with the Outline Trilogy, three “literary masterpieces” (The Washington Post) whose narrator, Faye, perceives the world with a glinting, unsparing intelligence while remaining opaque to the reader. Lauded for the precision of her prose and the quality of her insight, Cusk is a writer of uncommon brilliance. Now, in Coventry, she gathers a selection of her nonfiction writings that both offers new insights on the themes at the heart of her fiction and forges a startling critical voice on some of our most urgent personal, social, and artistic questions.

Coventry encompasses memoir, cultural criticism, and writing about literature, with pieces on family life, gender, and politics, and on D. H. Lawrence, Françoise Sagan, and Kazuo Ishiguro. Named for an essay Cusk published in Granta (“Every so often, for offences actual or hypothetical, my mother and father stop speaking to me. There’s a funny phrase for this phenomenon in England: it’s called being sent to Coventry”), this collection is pure Cusk and essential reading for our age: fearless, unrepentantly erudite, and dazzling to behold.

 

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User Review  - RandyMetcalfe - LibraryThing

The essays, literary reflections, and introductions collected together in Rachel Cusk’s Coventry share an uncluttered professionalism, casual precision, and a kind of blindness. As Cusk is famously ... Read full review

Coventry: Essays

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Memoirist and novelist Cusk (Kudos) turns her perceptive gaze and distinctive voice to a variety of topics in her arresting first essay collection. Broken into three sections, the volume takes its ... Read full review

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About the author (2019)

Rachel Cusk is the author of Outline, Transit, Kudos; the memoirs A Life’s Work, The Last Supper, and Aftermath; and several other novels: Saving Agnes, winner of the Whitbread Award; The Temporary; The Country Life, which won the 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.

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