Publication Date: 04/04/2024 ISBN: 9781783789290 Category:

Biography of X

Catherine Lacey

Publisher: Granta Books
Publication Date: 04/04/2024 ISBN: 9781783789290 Category:
Paperback / Softback


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‘Brilliant, astonishing’ Chris Kraus
‘Sly, brilliant, philosophically acute, bitingly funny, and a pure joy to spend hours with’ Lauren Groff

When X – the iconoclastic artist, musician and writer – dies suddenly, CM, her widow, hurls herself into writing a biography of the woman she deified. The story will lead her deep into the Southern Territory – a fascist theocracy that split from the rest of the USA after World War II – before revealing the full weight of X’s secrets, and the depth of her betrayal.

‘A thriller set against a backdrop of political intrigue, an elegy, an art world satire and a thought experiment too… One of the most interesting books you’ll read this year…’ Financial Times
‘A profound novel about love and what it can license, about the toll – and maybe the con – of genius’ Garth Greenwell
‘Sprawling and ambitious… Strange and dystopian… This is a major novel’ New York Times

Publisher Review

A dazzling novel… Unbearable loss reveals itself as the compelling, moving heart of this intricately layered novel * Sunday Times * Discerning facts from fiction is the pleasure of this Russian doll of a book: a biography of an imaginary subject, written by an imaginary biographer, housed inside a novel pretending not to be one… Biography of X is almost certainly one of the most interesting books you’ll read this year * Financial Times * From the superb opening line to [Lacey’s] skewering of the art world and its pretensions, her discernments on grief and loss, the book is endlessly quotable… Come for the glamorous premise, stay for the icy precision of the prose * Irish Times * Catherine Lacey’s brilliant, astonishing new novel… Everything in Lacey’s novel is turned upside down — Chris Kraus * Washington Post * Biography of X is the most ambitious book I’ve ever read from a writer of my own generation. Epic world-building revealed through intimate emotion and dangerously honed sentences; a story that mixes fact and fiction to create a new register of truth, a register that belongs entirely to Catherine Lacey. I’m awed — Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby I’m not sure I know another novel that manages to be so many books at once… A profound novel about love and what it can license, about the toll – and maybe the con – of genius. Only Catherine Lacey could have written it — Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness A triumphant high-wire act: all the breadth of a 19th century classic with the propulsiveness of a psychological thriller. I stayed up too late, wishing to uncover X’s secrets alongside the narrator — Sara Novic, author of Girl at War Sly, brilliant, philosophically acute, bitingly funny… a pure joy… It feels fairly rare for a novel to be hugely intelligent and moving and fun in equal measure, but with Biography of X, Catherine Lacey somehow – magically – makes the nearly impossible look easy. — Lauren Groff Biography of X is a work of wonder, written with brilliant attention to detail… No single book can ever truly express who a person is or was. Catherine Lacey’s ambitious novel promises no such thing – and is all the more fun for it * New Statesman * By turns laugh-out-loud funny and painfully sad… I couldn’t help finding it all heartbreakingly real * Telegraph * [A] haunting, genre-bending novel… It’s like looking at a family photograph in which something truly extraordinary – an avalanche or alien invasion – is taking place in the background * Guardian * Breathtaking in its scope and rigor, this unforgettable novel pushes contemporary fiction to dizzying heights. A triumph * Kirkus * [A] blockbuster novel… truly outstanding * Wall Street Journal * Utterly compelling… Exploring themes including freedom, truth, identity and myth-making on personal, political and national levels * Daily Mail * Consistently playful and inventive… We get the sense of a writer hitting a rich seam and mining it for all it’s worth * TLS * Intricate, masterfully crafted and sprawling * The List * Mesmerising, provocative, deeply impressive * Spectator * Prismatic and brilliant * Vanity Fair * The most inventive and playful novel of the year… Lacey…is at her creative apex with Biography of X * Big Issue * An audacious novel of art and ideas set in an alternate late 20th century… This is brilliant * Publishers Weekly * Remarkable * Scotsman * Strange and dystopian and vividly imagined… Beneath the counterfactuals, and the glamour and squalor of Manhattan nightlife, and the mythologies bought and sold, she’s telling a love story * New York Times * A tour-de-force * Library Journal *

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