Olivia Laing

2018 Nominee

The Gordon Burn Prize

2018 Nominee

The Goldsmiths Prize

02 May 2019
176 pages


'CRUDO is a hot, hot book. The fuse is lit.' - The Observer
'Beautiful and strange, Olivia Laing’s CRUDO is an urgent, compelling, funny and moving tale for our times.' - Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

Olivia Laing's first novel is a love letter, a blistering rewire of the form and a brilliant, funny and emphatically raw account of love in the apocalypse.

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

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

From a Tuscan hotel for the super-rich to a Brexit-paralysed UK, Kathy spends the first summer of her forties trying to adjust to making a lifelong commitment just as Trump is tweeting the world into nuclear war. But it’s not only Kathy who’s 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 one rogue tweet could end it all. A Goodbye to Berlin for the 21st century, Crudo charts in real time what it was like to live and love in the horrifying summer of 2017, from the perspective of a commitment-phobic artist who may or may not be Kathy Acker . . .

'The status beach read of the summer' - The Sunday Times Style

'Olivia Laing's questioning love letter to life and to art will blow you away' - Deborah Levy, author of Hot Milk

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