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 and emphatically raw account of love in the apocalypse. A Goodbye to Berlin for the twenty-first 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.
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 making a lifelong commitment 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 and 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?
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‘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.’
‘One long electric dream, spinning with intimate energy and the sharpest saddest funniest humour.’ Philip Hoare
‘I adored Crudo. I believe it is a great novel. Olivia writes so beautifully about life and nature in both city and country, and always finds some aspect to laugh about, one feels today’s world is worth saving.’ Jilly Cooper
‘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
‘Sharp, witty and totally engaging. Crudo is a brilliant novel.’ Patrick McGrath
‘Chic, compassionate, crabby, perspicacious, and marvellously playful - Crudo is a huge-hearted novel that conveys the weight of the world with the lightest touch.’ Claire-Louise Bennett
‘Witty, effervescent, and deliciously derailing, Olivia Laing’s first venture into fiction holds up a mirror to our troubled times’ Rupert Thomson