“A woman invites a renowned painter to stay on a remote marsh. His presence casts a shadow over the new life she has made there and forces her to question why she invited him. Cusk’s deeply drawn characters both compel and repel the reader, asking us to consider desire and what is real, and whether the two can ever be reconciled – in art or anywhere else. This is Cusk’s most emotive work yet and is indebted to Mabel Lodge’s visceral 1932 memoir about putting up (with) DH Lawrence in her artist’s colony.”
‘A classic, but with contemporary urgency thumping through it.’
Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond
From the acclaimed author of the Outline trilogy, a fable of human destiny and decline, enacted in a closed system of intimate, fractured relationships.
Praise for the Outline trilogy:
‘A landmark in twenty-first-century English literature.’
‘Precise and haunting … Unforgettable.’
‘Achieves a kind of formal perfection … masterly.’
‘A work of great stunning beauty, deep insight, and great originality.’
A woman invites a famed artist to visit the remote coastal region where she lives, in the belief that his vision will penetrate the mystery of her life and landscape. Over the course of one hot summer, his provocative presence provides the frame for a study of female fate and male privilege, of the geometries of human relationships, and of the struggle to live morally between our internal and external worlds. With its examination of the possibility that art can both save and destroy us, Second Place is deeply affirming of the human soul, while grappling with its darkest demons.
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