book cover of Second Place
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Second Place

A novel by

Booker Prize Best Novel (nominee)
Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2021

From the acclaimed author of the
Outline trilogy, a fable of human destiny and decline, enacted in a closed system of intimate, fractured relationships.

Praise for the
Outline trilogy:

'A landmark in twenty-first-century English literature.'
'Precise and haunting ... Unforgettable.'
Jenny Offill
'Achieves a kind of formal perfection ... masterly.'
Sally Rooney
'A work of great stunning beauty, deep insight, and great originality.'
Monica Ali

A woman invites a famed artist to visit the remote coastal region where she lives, in the belief that his vision will penetrate the mystery of her life and landscape. Over the course of one hot summer, his provocative presence provides the frame for a study of female fate and male privilege, of the geometries of human relationships, and of the struggle to live morally between our internal and external worlds. With its examination of the possibility that art can both save and destroy us,
Second Place is deeply affirming of the human soul, while grappling with its darkest demons.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Rachel Cusk is always an exciting writer: striking and challenging, with a distinctive cool prose voice, and behind that coolness something untamed and full of raw force . . ." - Tessa Hadley

"Cusk has glimpsed the central truth of modern life . . . She moves through it as a blasted centre full only of instinct and superhuman hearing and hackles." - Patricia Lockwood

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