Rachel Cusk (born 8 February 1967) is a Canadian-born novelist and writer who lives and works in the United Kingdom.
Childhood and education
Cusk was born in Canada in 1967 and spent much of her early childhood in Los Angeles. She moved to the United Kingdom in 1974. She read English at New College, Oxford.
Cusk is the author of eight novels and three works of non-fiction. She has won and been shortlisted for numerous prizes: her 2014 novel, Outline, was shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Baileys prize. In 2003, Rachel Cusk was nominated by Granta magazine as one of 20 'Best of Young British Novelists'.
Reviewing Cusk's novel Outline in the New York Times, Heidi Julavits writes: "While the narrator is rarely alone, 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 she is one of the smartest writers alive."
Reviewing her most recent novel, Transit, critic Helen Dunmore of The Guardian noted Cusk's "brilliant, insightful prose", adding, "Cusk is now working on a level that makes it very surprising that she has not yet won a major literary prize".
In the New York Times review of Transit, Dwight Garner says the novel offers "transcendental reflections", and that he is waiting more eagerly for the last novel of Rachel Cusk's trilogy (entitled Kudos, and has Outline and Transit as its first two books) than for that of Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle series.
Cusk is married to the artist Siemon Scamell-Katz and lives in London and Norfolk with her two daughters.
- Saving Agnes (1993)
- The Temporary (1995)
- The Country Life (1997)
- The Lucky Ones (2003)
- In the Fold (2005)
- Arlington Park (2006)
- The Bradshaw Variations (2009)
- Outline (2014)
- Transit (2017)
- A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother (2001)
- The Last Supper: A Summer in Italy (2009)
- Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation (2012)
- Introductions and Forewords
- Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan (Penguin, 2008)
- The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (Folio Society, 2009)
- The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence (Vintage, 2011)
- Complete Stories by Kingsley Amis (Penguin Classics, 2011)
Awards and prizes
- 1993 Whitbread First Novel Award - Saving Agnes
- 1997 Somerset Maugham Award - The Country Life
- 2003 Whitbread Novel Award (shortlist) - The Lucky Ones
- 2005 Man Booker Prize (longlist) – In the Fold
- 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction (shortlist) - Arlington Park
- 2014 Goldmiths Prize (shortlist)
- 2015 Folio Prize (shortlist)
- 2015 Bailey's Prize (shortlist)
- 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize (shortlist)
- 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction (shortlist)
- 2016 Goldsmiths Prize (shortlist)
- "Suburban Worlds: Rachel Cusk and Jon McGregor." In B. Schoene. The Cosmopolitan Novel. Edinburgh University Press, 2009.
- Review of Outline in the New York Times
- Interview in The Guardian
- "Weekend Birthdays", The Guardian, p. 52, 8 Feb 2014
- "The Folio Prize announces 2015 shortlist". The Folio Prize. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
- Flood, Alison (2014-10-01). "Goldsmiths book prize shortlist includes crowd-funded first novel". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
- Flood, Alison (2015-04-13). "Baileys women's prize for fiction shortlists debut alongside star names". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
- Granta list of Best Young British Novelists, 2003.
- Julavits, Heidi, "Rachel Cusk's Outine," The New York Times, 11 January 2015.
- Dunomore, Helen, "Transit by Rachel Cusk – a woman’s struggle to rebuild her life," The Guardian, 28 August 2016.
- "Costa Book Awards", section "Whitbread Winners 1971-2005". Costa. costa.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
- "Previous winners of the Somerset Maugham Awards". The Society of Authors. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
- "Whitbread 2003 shortlists" (November 10, 2003). The Telegraph. telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
- "In the Fold". The Man Booker Prizes. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
- "The Scotiabank Giller Prize Presents Its 2015 Shortlist" (October 5, 2015). Scotiabank Giller Prize. scotiabankgillerprize.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-05.