Next up on our special Giller Prize edition of The Chat, I’m in conversation with Rachel Cusk, author of Transit.
Of Transit, the jury writes: “Rachel Cusk’s elegant, witty and brilliantly realized novel, Faye, a writer, moves to London with her young sons and purchases a dilapidated apartment. On this deceptively simple scaffolding, Cusk constructs a series of finely observed and complex stories about people whose paths intersect with the narrator’s. The result is a book which is simultaneously intimate and expansive, alight with wisdom and humour, an exquisitely poised meditation on life, time, and change.”
Rachel Cusk is the author of three memoirs—A Life’s Work, The Last Supper and Aftermath—and her novels include Saving Agnes, winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award; The Temporary; The Country Life, which won a Somerset Maugham Award; The Lucky Ones; In the Fold; Arlington Park; and The Bradshaw Variations. She was named among Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. Her novel Outline was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2015. She lives in London, UK.
Welcome to the final post of our 2015 Giller Prize spotlight. It was a pleasure interviewing Anakana Schofield, André Alexis, Heather O'Neill, and Samuel Archibald and now I'm pleased to present my chat with Rachel Cusk. Rachel is nominated for her book Outline (HarperCollins Canada), "a novel in ten conversations ... [that] follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing during one oppressively hot summer in Athens."
From the New York Times review of Outline:
"By freeing the narrator of a body, the novel allows readers to accept a more complex portrait of a person — a self instead of a set of gender stereotypes. The result is a heartbreaking portrait of poise, sympathy, regret and rage, and with this book, Cusk suggests a powerful alternate route for the autobiographical novel."
Thank you again to Publishing@SFU for sponsoring this special Giller Prize installment of The Chat.
What did you immediately do when you found out you’d made it onto this year’s Giller shortlist?
I’m not sure I remember exactly what …