Autobiography in Truth and Fiction: Rachel Cusk

Autobiography in Truth and Fiction: Rachel Cusk in conversation with Catherine Temma Davidson

by Sarah Glazer

Rachel Cusk has been called by the New York Times “One of the smartest writers alive.” Her novels and nonfiction explore the great themes of our lives: marriage, motherhood, relationships, the tensions in the lives of women between private selves and public mythologies. Named by Granta in 2003 as one of the 20 best Young British novelists, she has published eight novels and three controversial memoirs.

Her new book, Outline, is an innovative masterpiece of autobiographical fiction that offers insight after insight in beautifully lucid prose. In a recent Guardian interview, Cusk asserted that “autobiography is increasingly the only form in all the arts”—a strong statement from a writer who never shies away from controversy. Our November Salon offers an opportunity to hear from one of the leading writers in the UK talk about her work and how she sees the fictional landscape today.

Catherine Temma Davidson is the author of The Priest Fainted, called by Amanda Craig “the most enchanting book about Greece since anything by Lawrence Durrell.”