Kathy is a writer. Kathy is getting married. It’s the summer of 2017 and the whole world is falling apart.
Olivia Laing radically rewires the novel in a brilliant, funny & raw account of love in the apocalypse. A 21st century Goodbye to Berlin, Crudo charts the turbulent summer of 2017 in real time, from the perspective of a commitment-phobic artist who may or may not be Kathy Acker.
From a Tuscan hotel for the super-rich to a Brexit-paralysed UK, Kathy spends the first summer of her forties trying to adjust to marriage. 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 and the planet's 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?
Audiobook (read by the author): Audible
Dance: Crudo playlist
Coming soon: China, Italy, Germany, Spain, Romania, Russia
Book of the Year: New Yorker, New York Times, NPR, Washington Post, Esquire, Bustle, Paste, New Statesman, Evening Standard, Guardian, The Spinoff
From the reviews:
‘Crudo seduces from the first sentence. Laing as Acker is not literary device - it is literary detonation.’ Suzanne Moore, Observer
‘I don't think I'll ever forget the day I spent reading 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 up again. A beautiful, strange, intelligent novel.’ Sally Rooney, Guardian
‘Love may not be original, but this funny, fervent novel is.’ New Yorker
‘Audacious... It’s about the longing to escape our ossified selves — to become, if only for a moment or within the pages of a novel, someone wilder and more radically free. And in staging that longing so directly and so honestly, Olivia Laing makes Crudo her own.’ New York Times
‘Laing's book is truly exciting and, crucially, right on time.’ Johanna Fateman, 4 Columns
‘Extravagantly beautiful...exceptionally funny...Crudo traps the first summer of Trump and Brexit like a fly in amber.’ NPR
‘Intelligent and provocative... an important novel that shouts to the vastness and the urgency of what it means to be alive, now.’ Spectator
‘A piece of electrifying writing that captures absolutely the daily headline-bombarded, social media-refracted atmosphere of modern life.’ Daily Mail
‘Crudo is too sane and searing to be written off as purely “experimental”...In there with the dexterousness and sagacity of the sentences are warmth and love, humour and kindness.’ Irish Times
‘Less a novel than a single moment in modernity, deconstructed by the savagely entertaining, Acker-inspired voice of Laing.' Paris 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
‘Readable, shockingly new, and surprisingly tender. I didn’t want it to stop.’ Chris Kraus
‘I read it in one go, lost all sense of time, floating on the rhythm, stung by the beats, I bet Kathy Acker would have loved it, I did.’
‘The diffuse literary form of Crudo is ridiculously good. Olivia Laing has probably the most art & texture savvy sensitive ear of anyone writing today.’ Eileen Myles
A Sunday Times top 10 bestseller * A New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2018
Shortlisted for the 2018 Goldsmiths Prize, the Gordon Burn prize
and the 2019 James Tait Black prize