Olivia Laing's Crudo to be published by Picador

29 January 2018

Picador is delighted to announce the acquisition of a novel and a work of non-fiction from prize-winning writer Olivia Laing. Crudo, Laing’s first move into fiction, is a brilliant, funny and emphatically raw account of love in the apocalypse, which publishes in hardback in July 2018 and is available to pre-order now.

Olivia Laing’s most recent book, The Lonely City, was published to remarkable critical acclaim, and her next work of non-fiction Everybody (which will publish in Spring 2020) will cement her position as one of the most brilliant and original writers of contemporary non-fiction.

Paul Baggaley, Publisher at Picador, said: “I have been an admirer of Olivia Laing’s writing for many years and have been very excited by the way she has developed her unique form of personal and cultural non-fiction. I am so excited she has come to Picador with two very different books which highlight her remarkable talent, both addressing the way we live now whilst challenging form and genre in the most imaginative ways. Crudo is witty and original, an exhilarating and daring novel about finding love amidst the global chaos of the summer of 2017. Everybody will be a major work of non-fiction that will examine the body in the modern era, combining themes of sexuality, gender, protest, art and personal experience.”

Olivia Laing said “I’m thrilled to be joining Picador, a publisher that has an amazing track record for exciting literature of all genres. I had no intention of writing a novel before this summer, but it felt like a way of responding with speed and flexibility and passion to this violent and frightening year. I wrote it in a fury: two months of exploring in real time how it felt to live in a world where love and truth were becoming increasingly endangered.”

About the books:



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

Goodbye to Berlin for the twenty-first 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 peripatetic artist who may or may not be Kathy Acker.

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 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 and 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?

Olivia Laing radically rewires the novel in a brilliant, funny and emphatically raw account of love in the apocalypse.

Read extract  

Everybody: A Book about Freedom

Everybody is a fierce, vital exploration of what it means to have a body in the modern era. Embodiment is not an easy business. From violence to illness, sexuality to racism, the fact of a body can be impossibly hard to inhabit. Olivia Laing draws on her own background in protest and alternative medicine to investigate the reasons why. Laing’s exploration of the complexities of bodily life takes in some of the most significant and beguiling figures of the past century, among them the psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, the painters Francis Bacon and Agnes Martin and the singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone.

Despite its difficulties, the body remains a source of power, even in an age as technologized and automated as our own. Everybody is at heart a celebration of how ordinary human bodies, whatever they look like, can resist oppression and reshape the world.

Olivia Laing is the author of three acclaimed works of non-fiction. To the River (2011) was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and the Dolman Travel Book of the Year. The Trip to Echo Spring (2013) was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Prize and the Gordon Burn Prize. The Lonely City won the 2014 Eccles British Library Writer’s Award, was shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism and has been translated into fourteen languages. Laing writes on art and culture for many publications, including the Guardian, New Statesman, New York Times and frieze.


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