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What to expect

A Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller

Shortlisted for the Goldsmith’s Prize, the Gordon Burn Prize and the James Tait Black Award

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 40s 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 peripatetic artist who may or may not be Kathy Acker . . .

Critics Review

  • Written at a war-mongering time of rising nationalisms, the vitality of Olivia Laing’s
    questioning love letter to life and to art will blow you away

    Deborah Levy
  • Laing’s prose shimmers and is selfish then, suddenly, full of love. It’s a high-wire act. This is the novel as a love letter to Acker. She gives her a happier ending than the one she had. She asks us what a novel can do when unreality rules. She asks what it is like to be alive when the old order is dying . . . Crudo is a hot, hot book. The fuse is lit.

    Observer
  • The status beach read of the summer

    Sunday Times Style
  • Finally, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day I spent reading Olivia Laing’s Crudo. I couldn’t put it down, and then it overwhelmed me so much I had to put it down, and then I had to pick it back up again. A beautiful, strange, intelligent novel.

    Sally Rooney, author of Conversations With Friends
  • In Crudo her triumph, rather, is rendering on the page the texture of a very contemporary sensibility . . . The novel form famously struggles to represent the intersection in our lives of the personal-parochial and the political-global: here’s a way to try. And the writing is often so fresh and clever and funny.

    Guardian
  • Beautiful and strange, Olivia Laing’s Crudo is an urgent, compelling, funny and moving tale for our times.

    Paula Hawkins

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