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Crudo

by Olivia Laing

Based on the life of American experimental novelist Kathy Acker. Told in the first person; although sometimes 'I' is 'I' and sometimes 'she'! I found the writing style humorous and entertaining. Although Acker died in 1997, the novel is set in Europe in 2017. This enables 'Acker' to comment on current affairs e.g. Trump's presidency, Brexit and the NHS. Highly praised and definitely different. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Extract

It was uncomputable, it was the province of the novel, that hopeless apparatus of guesswork and supposition, with which Kathy liked to have as little traffic as possible.
She wrote fiction, sure, but she populated it with the already extant, the pre-packaged and readymade. She was in many ways Warhol's daughter, niece at least, a grave-robber, a bandit, happy to snatch what she needed but also morally invested in the cause: that there was no need to invent, you could make anything from out of the overflowing midden of the already-done, the as Becket put it nothing new, it was economic also stylish to help yourself to the grab bag of the actual.

Parallels

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing
Blue Self-Portrait by Noemi Lefebvre
 

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