Olivia Laing

2018 Nominee

The Gordon Burn Prize

2018 Nominee

The Goldsmiths Prize

28 June 2018
176 pages


'I couldn't put it down' – Sally Rooney, author of Normal People

Kathy is a writer. Kathy is getting married. It’s the summer of 2017 and the whole world is falling apart.

Kathy spends the first summer of her forties trying to adjust to making a lifelong commitment – marriage. But it’s not only Kathy who is changing. Political, social and natural landscapes are all in peril. Fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is hotting up. Is it really worth learning to love when the end of the world is nigh? And how do you make art, let alone a life, when it could all end at any moment?

From a Tuscan hotel for the super-rich to a politically-paralysed UK, Olivia Laing's first novel is a love letter, inspired by the life and work of Kathy Acker. It is a blistering rewire of the form and a brilliant, funny and emphatically raw account of love in the apocalypse.

'[Crudo] will blow you away' – Deborah Levy, author of Hot Milk

Winner of the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction
Shortlisted for the Goldsmith's Prize and the Gordon Burn Prize

Written at a war-mongering time of rising nationalisms, the vitality of Olivia Laing's
questioning love letter to life and to art will blow you away

Laing’s prose shimmers and is selfish then, suddenly, full of love. It’s a high-wire act. This is the novel as a love letter to Acker. She gives her a happier ending than the one she had. She asks us what a novel can do when unreality rules. She asks what it is like to be alive when the old order is dying . . . Crudo is a hot, hot book. The fuse is lit.
The status beach read of the summer