Crudo (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Crudo is the debut novel of Olivia Laing, a culture writer for The Guardian, and author of three previous books of nonfiction. The main character of this novel is an amalgam of the dead avant-garde writer Kathy Acker and Laing herself. At forty years old, “Kathy” is about to get married for the first time to a famous poet thirty years her senior. Unfolding all around her in real time is the political chaos and profound strangeness of the Brexit/Trump era, all mediated and experienced through the social media she engages with compulsively. This book is a stylistically bold and clever negotiation of vulnerability, independence, aging, and politics in the bizarre cultural epoch we are living in.

— From Emma


"She had no idea what to do with love, she experienced it as invasion, as the prelude to loss and pain, she really didn't have a clue."

Kathy is a writer. Kathy is getting married. It's the summer of 2017 and the whole world is falling apart. Fast-paced and frantic, Crudo unfolds in real time from the full-throttle perspective of a commitment-phobic artist who may or may not be Kathy Acker.

From a Tuscan hotel for the superrich to a Brexit-paralyzed United Kingdom, Kathy spends the first summer of her forties adjusting to the idea of a lifelong commitment. But it's not only Kathy who's changing. Fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is heating up, and Trump is tweeting the world ever-closer to nuclear war. How do you make art, let alone a life, when one rogue tweet could end it all?

In Crudo, her first work of fiction, Olivia Laing radically rewires the novel with a fierce, compassionate account of learning to love when the end of the world seems near.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393652727
ISBN-10: 0393652726
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: September 11th, 2018
Pages: 160
Language: English