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Fiction Literary

Saving Agnes

A Novel

by (author) Rachel Cusk

Publisher
Picador
Initial publish date
Jan 2001
Category
Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781250828200
    Publish Date
    Feb 2022
    List Price
    $23
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780312271930
    Publish Date
    Jan 2001
    List Price
    $24.5

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Description

Winner of the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel
Agnes Day is mildly discontent. As a child, she never wanted to be an Agnes—she wanted to be a pleasing Grace. Alas, she remained the terminally middle class, hopelessly romantic Agnes. Now she's living with her two best friends in London and working at a trade magazine. Life and love seem to go on without her. Not only does she not know how to get back into the game, she isn't even sure what the game is. But she gives a good performance—until she learns that her roommates and her boyfriend are keeping secrets from her, and that her boss is quitting and leaving her in charge. In great despair, she decides to make it her business to set things straight. Saving Agnes is a perceptive, fresh, and honest novel that has delighted readers and critics on both sides of the Atlantic.

About the author

Rachel Cusk is the author of nine novels, three non-fiction works, a play, and numerous shorter essays and memoirs. Her first novel, Saving Agnes, was published in 1993. Her most recent novel, Kudos, the final part of the Outline trilogy, will be published in the US and the UK in May 2018.
Saving Agnes won the Whitbread First Novel Award, The Country Life won the Somerset Maugham Award and subsequent books have been shortlisted for the Orange Prize, Whitbread Prize, Goldsmiths Prize, Bailey’s Prize, and the Giller Prize and Governor General’s Award in Canada. She was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. Her version of Euripides’ Medea was directed by Rupert Goold and was shortlisted for the Susan Blackburn Smith Award.
Rachel was born in Canada in 1967 and spent her early childhood in Los Angeles before moving to the UK in 1974. She studied English at Oxford and published her first novel Saving Agnes when she was twenty six, and its themes of femininity and social satire remained central to her work over the next decade. In responding to the formal problems of the novel representing female experience she began to work additionally in non-fiction. Her autobiographical accounts of motherhood and divorce (A Life’s Work and Aftermath) were groundbreaking and controversial. 
Most recently, after a long period of consideration, she attempted to evolve a new form, one that could represent personal experience while avoiding the politics of subjectivity and literalism and remaining free from narrative convention. That project became a trilogy (Outline, Transit and Kudos). Outline was one of The New York Times’ top 5 novels in 2015. Judith Thurman’s 2017 profile of Rachel in The New Yorker comments “Many experimental writers have rejected the mechanics of storytelling, but Cusk has found a way to do so without sacrificing its tension. Where the action meanders, language takes up the slack. Her sentences hum with intelligence, like a neural pathway.”

Rachel Cusk's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Smart, subtle, stylish, and witty.” —The Boston Herald Sunday
“A novel so much more than just clever and sharp that it might be said to be wise . . . Cusk has heart and depth in abundance, and Saving Agnes showcases both.” —Abby Frucht, The Village Voice
“Quirky but appealing characters and wry social commentary. . . Exquisite and sometimes diabolical.” —Publishers Weekly

Other titles by Rachel Cusk