- 9,99 €
Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2021
From the acclaimed author of the Outline trilogy, a fable of human destiny and decline, enacted in a closed system of intimate, fractured relationships.
Praise for the Outline trilogy:
'A landmark in twenty-first-century English literature.'
'Precise and haunting ... Unforgettable.'
'Achieves a kind of formal perfection ... masterly.'
'A work of great stunning beauty, deep insight, and great originality.'
A woman invites a famed artist to visit the remote coastal region where she lives, in the belief that his vision will penetrate the mystery of her life and landscape. Over the course of one hot summer, his provocative presence provides the frame for a study of female fate and male privilege, of the geometries of human relationships, and of the struggle to live morally between our internal and external worlds. With its examination of the possibility that art can both save and destroy us, Second Place is deeply affirming of the human soul, while grappling with its darkest demons.
Cusk's intelligent, sparkling return (after Kudos) centers on a woman in crisis. The narrator, M, is a writer living on an isolated coastal marsh with her second husband, Tony. They have built a guest cabin on their property, which they call the "second place." Through a mutual friend, M invites a painter, L, to stay in the cabin. L's art deeply affected M 15 years earlier when she was a young mother and was struck by the work's "freedom" and how it was "elementally and unrepentingly male down to the last brushstroke." To her surprise, L accepts, before canceling. M's daughter, Justine, and her new boyfriend, Kurt, who reminds M of her first husband, move into the cabin just before L shows up with a gorgeous young woman named Brett. The characters enter an uneasy equilibrium on the marsh as allusions of a global financial disaster fill in the backdrop. L paints portraits of everyone except M which devastates her. Cusk expertly handles the logistics of the crowded setting, building tension as the characters form unexpected, temporary alliances Kurt and L, Brett and Justine and M's isolation increases. There is the erudition of the author's Outline trilogy here, but with a tightly contained dramatic narrative. It's a novel that feels timeless, while dealing with ferocious modern questions.