Saturday, November 24, 2018


Cooked. If the title of Olivia Laing’s novel, Crudo, refers to things raw, the prose within is cooked with all the finest ingredients of experimental literary fiction. Is the protagonist Kathy the real Kathy Acker, a punk artist who died in 1997? Probably not since the novel says it’s set in 2017. Citations from the index that identify chosen texts show lots of Acker. Maybe Laing is exploring in fiction what difference there is between life and death. Acker comes and goes while protagonist Kathy gets married and basks in the Italian sun in sumptuous luxury. Readers looking for plot and clarity with a beginning, middle and end will find nothing of the sort on these pages. Instead, this short book takes readers on an adventure of words. Every seeming tangent brings a new nugget to lovers of finely written prose. If you’re that kind of adventurous reader, you’re likely to love this novel. Rating: Four-star (I like it) Click here to purchase Crudo from

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