“In her effort to expose the illusions of both fiction and life, [Rachel Cusk] may have discovered the most genuine way to write a novel today.”
―Ruth Franklin, The Atlantic
“Outstanding . . . As always, Cusk’s ear for language and dialogue is sharp; her characters speak about universal ideas, such as anxiety and lust. This marvelous novel continues the author’s vivid exploration of the human condition.”
boxed, starred review
An Evening with the Author: Rachel Cusk
Thursday February 2, 2017
Rachel Cusk joined us for a special event to celebrate her new novel Transit, the second book in the trilogy that began with Outline, one of The New York Times Book Review’s ten best books of 2015.
This event was held at the Montauk Club in Park Slope.
In the wake of family collapse, a writer and her two young sons move to London. The process of upheaval is the catalyst for a number of transitions—personal, moral, artistic, practical—as she endeavors to construct a new reality for herself and her children. In the city she is made to confront aspects of living she has, until now, avoided, and to consider questions of vulnerability and power, death and renewal, in what becomes her struggle to reattach herself to, and believe in, life.
Filtered through the impersonal gaze of its keenly intelligent protagonist, Transit sees Rachel Cusk delve deeper into the themes first raised in her critically acclaimed Outline, and offers up a penetrating and moving reflection on childhood and fate, the value of suffering, the moral problems of personal responsibility, and the mystery of change. In this precise, short, and yet epic cycle of novels, Cusk manages to describe the most elemental experiences, the liminal qualities of life, through a narrative near-silence that draws language toward it. She captures with unsettling restraint and honesty the longing to both inhabit and flee one's life and the wrenching ambivalence animating our desire to feel real.
Rachel Cusk is the author of three memoirs—A Life’s Work, The Last Supper, and Aftermath—and the novels 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; The Bradshaw Variations; and Outline. Transit is her ninth novel. She was chosen as one of Granta’s 2003 Best of Young British Novelists. She lives in London.