To mark the publication of the new paperback edition of her novel, CRUDO, we're incredibly excited to welcome Olivia Laing for a discussion with Octavia Bright.
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 . . .
Olivia Laing is a widely acclaimed writer and critic. She's the author of TO THE RIVER (Canongate, 2011), THE TRIP TO ECHO SPRING (Canongate, 2013), and THE LONELY CITY (Canongate, 2016), which has been translated into 15 languages. She writes for many publications, including the Guardian and New Statesman, and is a columnist for Frieze. In 2018 she was awarded the Windham Campbell Prize for non-fiction. Her latest book, CRUDO (Picador, 2018), was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller, a New York Times notable book of 2018, and was shortlisted for both the Goldsmiths Prize and the Gordon Burn Prize.
Dr Octavia Bright is a writer and academic. She has written criticism, fiction, and poetry for a variety of publications. She co-hosts Literary Friction, a monthly literary talk show and podcast about books and ideas, with Carrie Plitt.