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Outline
Outline の表紙
Outline
Outline Trilogy Series, Book 1
著者 Rachel Cusk

A luminous, powerful novel that establishes Rachel Cusk as one of the finest writers in the English language
A man and a woman are seated next to each other on a plane. They get to talking—about their destination, their careers, their families. Grievances are aired, family tragedies discussed, marriages and divorces analyzed. An intimacy is established as two strangers contrast their own fictions about their lives.
Rachel Cusk's Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and stark, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing during one oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner and discourse. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her neighbor from the plane. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves: their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face a great loss.
Outline takes a hard look at the things that are hardest to speak about. It brilliantly captures conversations, investigates people's motivations for storytelling, and questions their ability to ever do so honestly or unselfishly. In doing so it bares the deepest impulses behind the craft of fiction writing. This is Rachel Cusk's finest work yet, and one of the most startling, brilliant, original novels of recent years.

A luminous, powerful novel that establishes Rachel Cusk as one of the finest writers in the English language
A man and a woman are seated next to each other on a plane. They get to talking—about their destination, their careers, their families. Grievances are aired, family tragedies discussed, marriages and divorces analyzed. An intimacy is established as two strangers contrast their own fictions about their lives.
Rachel Cusk's Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and stark, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing during one oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner and discourse. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her neighbor from the plane. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves: their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face a great loss.
Outline takes a hard look at the things that are hardest to speak about. It brilliantly captures conversations, investigates people's motivations for storytelling, and questions their ability to ever do so honestly or unselfishly. In doing so it bares the deepest impulses behind the craft of fiction writing. This is Rachel Cusk's finest work yet, and one of the most startling, brilliant, original novels of recent years.

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著者について-
  • Rachel Cusk is the author of the Outline trilogy, the memoirs A Life's Work and Aftermath, and several other works of fiction and nonfiction. She is a Guggenheim fellow. She lives in Paris.
レビュー-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 27, 2014
    On an airplane to Athens, Greece, where she plans to teach a summer school course, English writer Faye strikes up a conversation with the passenger sitting next to her, a verbose elderly gentleman. The two chat for the entire flight, and days later, Faye allows the man to take her swimming aboard his boat, where she learns about his multiple marriages and troubled children. Thus begins this brilliant novel from Cusk (The Bradshaw Variations),who shuns fictional convention and frills in favor of a solid structure around a series of dialogues between Faye and those she encounters on her travels. While dining with old friends on two separate occasions, she hears tales of literary stalkers and near-death experiences. And within her classroom, students recount their own histories: from family pets to daily routines. Though Faye often functions as the sounding board, the reader nevertheless comes to know her—divorcée, mother—through her interjections and inquiries. These 10 remarkable conversations, told with immense control, focus a sharp eye on how we discuss family and our lives. As Faye bounces from one happenstance to the next, the words of one of her students echo on the page: “ story might merely be a series of events we believe ourselves to be involved in, but on which we have absolutely no influence at all.”

  • Kirkus

    November 1, 2014
    Following an off-key memoir (Aftermath, 2012), Cusk returns to fiction and top form in a novel about the stories we tell ourselves and others.The nameless narrator is on a plane from London to Athens to teach a summer writing course when an older Greek man begins to confide in her about his unhappy childhood. After learning the narrator is divorced, he tells her about his own marital misadventures. "So much is lost...in the shipwreck," he says mournfully. It's the first of many keening conversation she has with her students, Greek friends and fellow writers. They reveal marriages splintered when shared assumptions diverge; parents wearied by their children's demands but ambivalent when they cease; the struggle to give up comforting illusions and face reality-but then again, don't we all construct our own realities? (That question, unsurprisingly, especially preoccupies her younger students.) As they pour forth the particulars of their lives, the narrator sparingly doles out some of hers while coping with texts and phone calls from her needy sons. Pained by the disconnect "between the things I wanted and the things I could apparently have," she says, "I had decided to want nothing at all....I was trying to find a different way of living in the world." The existential musing can get somewhat abstract, but it's grounded by Cusk's knack for telling details: the slightly reddened eyes of the narrator's friend who asks for a nonalcoholic beer or the vivid makeup of a woman whose unfaithful husband has just redecorated his office entirely in white. The individual stories collectively suggest that self-knowledge is a poor substitute for happiness, but perhaps readers can find some hope from the narrator's admission that she can't shake "this desire to be free...despite having proved that everything about it was illusory." Dark, for sure, but rich in human variety and unsentimental empathy: a welcome change from the cloistered, self-absorbed feel of Arlington Park (2007) and The Bradshaw Variations (2010).

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from December 1, 2014
    An unnamed woman author from England travels to Greece to teach a short writing course. From her final luncheon before leaving London to her concluding afternoon in Athens, her life and particulars remain mostly a mystery to readers, but she relates her conversations with others in detail. She has discussions with friends and other writers, she leads her students through exercises in the classroom, and she exchanges stories with a stranger she meets on the plane and with whom she later reconnects. It is during these interactions, as others reveal their personal beliefs, hopes, dreams, and regrets, that the narrator's stubbornly obscure identity becomes gradually clearer. Though mostly a listener, her interjections, reactions, and guiding questions sketch her image for us in contrast. And as the profile of her main character grows more defined in relief, so does Cusk's underlying message about love, loss, and feminine identity in the modern world, evident not only in her story but also in its delivery. Outline is an expertly crafted portrait that asks readers to look deeply into the text for discovery. Those who accept that challenge will be rewarded for the effort.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

  • Library Journal

    August 1, 2014

    Whitbread First Novel and Somerset Maugham Award winner Cusk offers a narrative in ten conversations. A novelist teaching in sizzling Athens listens to the stories people weave about their lives while disclosing her own unbearable loss.

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from October 15, 2014

    On a flight from London to Athens, two strangers strike up a conversation. The Greek businessman is as intimate and fulsome as the woman (our narrator) is restrained and observant. A teacher of writing, the woman elicits confidences from others with the perfectly timed question, the knowing nod. Also a novelist, she can easily spot the inconsistencies in her seatmate's self-serving story of broken marriages and failed businesses. After all, don't we all retool our memories to show ourselves in the best light? The woman is in Athens to lead a seminar, and over the next few days, she listens to narratives from Ryan, her fellow professor; her Greek friends Paniotis and Angeliki; and her students. From her responses to their stories, readers begin to glimpse vital truths about her character, which is actually at the heart of this original novel. VERDICT This book about love, loss, memory, and the lies we tell ourselves and others exudes a contemplative, melancholy atmosphere tempered by British author Cusk's wonderfully astute observations of people and the visual impressions created by her exquisitely structured sentences. Recipient of the Whitbread First Novel Award (Saving Agnes) and the Somerset Maugham Award (The Country Life), Cusk should be more familiar to American readers, and this novel is a solid start. [See Prepub Alert, 7/21/14.]--Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Fort Myers, FL

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2014

    On a flight from London to Athens, two strangers strike up a conversation. The Greek businessman is as intimate and fulsome as the woman (our narrator) is restrained and observant. A teacher of writing, the woman elicits confidences from others with the perfectly timed question, the knowing nod. Also a novelist, she can easily spot the inconsistencies in her seatmate's self-serving story of broken marriages and failed businesses. After all, don't we all retool our memories to show ourselves in the best light? The woman is in Athens to lead a seminar, and over the next few days, she listens to narratives from Ryan, her fellow professor; her Greek friends Paniotis and Angeliki; and her students. From her responses to their stories, readers begin to glimpse vital truths about her character, which is actually at the heart of this original novel. VERDICT This book about love, loss, memory, and the lies we tell ourselves and others exudes a contemplative, melancholy atmosphere tempered by British author Cusk's wonderfully astute observations of people and the visual impressions created by her exquisitely structured sentences. Recipient of the Whitbread First Novel Award (Saving Agnes) and the Somerset Maugham Award (The Country Life), Cusk should be more familiar to American readers, and this novel is a solid start. [See Prepub Alert, 7/21/14.]--Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Fort Myers, FL

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Heidi Julavits, The New York Times Book Review

    "[A] lethally intelligent novel . . . reading Outline mimics the sensation of being underwater, of being separated from other people by a substance denser than air. But there is nothing blurry or muted about Cusk's literary vision or her prose: Spend much time with this novel and you'll become convinced that she is one of the smartest writers alive."

  • Dwight Garner, The New York Times "Outline is a poised and cerebral novel that has little in the way of straightforward plot yet is transfixing in its unruffled awareness of the ways we love and leave each other, and of what it means to listen to other people . . . While little happens in Outline, everything seems to happen. You find yourself pulling the novel closer to your face, as if it were a thriller and the hero were dangling over a snake pit."
  • Elaine Blair, The New Yorker "[Outline] is mesmerizing; it makes a sharp break from the conventional style of Cusk's previous work . . . Outline feels different, its world porous and continuous with ours, though not for the reasons we might expect."
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Outline
Outline
Outline Trilogy Series, Book 1
Rachel Cusk
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