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Beschreibung des Verlags
Shortlisted for the Goldsmith's Prize, the Gordon Burn Prize and the James Tait Black Award.
Dive in to a tale of love and loathing with the beach read of the summer.
Kathy is a writer. Kathy is getting married. It’s the summer of 2017 and the whole world is falling apart.
From a Tuscan hotel for the super-rich to a Brexit-paralysed UK, Kathy spends the first summer of her forties trying to adjust to making a lifelong commitment just as Trump is tweeting the world into nuclear war. But it’s not only Kathy who’s changing. Political, social and natural landscapes are all in peril. Fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is hotting up. Is it really worth learning to love when the end of the world is nigh? And how do you make art, let alone a life, when one rogue tweet could end it all.
Olivia Laing radically rewires the novel in a brilliant, funny and emphatically raw account of love in the apocalypse. A Goodbye to Berlin for the 21st century, Crudo charts in real time what it was like to live and love in the horrifying summer of 2017, from the perspective of a commitment-phobic artist who may or may not be Kathy Acker . . .
"Avant-garde, middle-class-in-flight" is the way Kathy, modeled on experimental novelist Kathy Acker and the heroine of this penetrating debut novel from biographer and memoirist Laing, thinks of herself. Unlike Acker, who died at age 50 in 1997, this Kathy is age 40 in 2017 and is getting ready to marry her boyfriend. As the tale toggles back and forth between Rome and Manhattan, present and past, Laing (The Lonely City) who laces her narrative with phrases subtly quoted from Acker's texts fantasizes about how the author might have reacted to the age of Twitter ("her scrying glass"), Facebook, Instagram, and information overload. Kathy's thoughts which are the novel's sum and substance are like those of an Acker character: moments of self-consciousness and anxiety aswirl with gloomy reflections on recent historical events including the Trump presidency; Brexit; nuclear proliferation in North Korea; the Grenfell Tower fire in London; the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va.; and so on. The world that Kathy moves in is, like that in Joyce's Ulysses, full of touchstones for intimate memories and reveries. Laing's novel can be read as an account of one individual's personal odyssey through a turbulent era defined by "fire and fascism," searching for peace. As in her nonfiction, Laing trenchantly depicts the life of the creative mind.