A Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller
Shortlisted for the Gordon Burns Prize
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 . . .
Chic, compassionate, crabby, perspicacious, and marvellously playful - Crudo is a huge-hearted novel that conveys the weight of the world with the lightest touch - I loved the mercurial energy that flew off its fast-turning pages. -- Claire-Louise Bennett Reading Olivia Laing's short, sleek novel CRUDO is like seeing the (very) recent past through a wall of mirrors. Laing adopts fragments of Kathy Acker's writings and life to arrive at a narrative style that's readable, shockingly new, and surprisingly tender. I didn't want it to stop. -- Chris Kraus Witty, hectic, effervescent, and deliciously derailing, Olivia Laing's first venture into fiction holds up a mirror to our troubled times -- Rupert Thomson We hereby acknowledge the irresistible rise of Olivia Laing, a writer incapable of anything other than full-on, nonstop brilliance. Crudo, her secular creed for crazy times, only proves her magical moment: to be there in it, and to take us along, too. One long electric dream, spinning with intimate energy and the sharpest saddest funniest humour, it's so utterly in-the-moment that you'll forget you aren't reading about yourself. -- Philip Hoare, author of RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR I am in awe of Olivia Laing's insights, braininess, and that something that feels like recklessness until it lands. -- Peter Carey