If you, like us, are thinking now might be a good time to grab something new to add to your reading list…we just got our hands on Rachel Cusk’s incredible ‘Outline’ trilogy: A woman is on an aeroplane. A woman is sitting in a classroom. A woman is at a dinner party. Who is she? We are afforded only the briefest glimpses of Faye, the person who would ordinarily take the role of “main character” in this sparely-written trilogy of novels. This is what Rachel Cusk wants– to do away with character. And she succeeds. ‘Outline’, ‘Transit’ and ‘Kudos’ form a cycle where in place of a “plot”, acquaintances, colleagues, friends and strangers appear like phantoms to use Faye as a sort of sounding-board, their identities and experiences narrated purely and cleanly as though distilled, before receding again. These episodes build up on each other over the course of the three novels to reach a powerful and devastating conclusion as exciting as any thriller. As they do so, the spaces in between the conversations paint a portrait of Faye as a woman coming to terms with a great loss, and with herself, and the unfamiliar territory she finds herself in. And as you read these novels, you realise you, too, are on foreign ground – this is a whole new kind of fiction, one that can only be experienced by picking up a copy and letting it in.
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22 März, 2020