**FINALIST for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; FINALIST for the Goldsmiths Prize; a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year; A New York Times Notable Book of the Year**
“A work of stunning beauty, deep insight and great originality.” —The New York Times
“Brave and uncompromising. . . . A work of cut-glass brilliance.” —Financial Times
“Cusk’s writing feels, exhilaratingly, unlike any other fiction being written.” —Toronto Star
Internationally acclaimed author and Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Rachel Cusk returns with Transit, a powerful novel that captures a woman’s experience with the fear and hope that accompany unavoidable change.
Faye has moved to London with her two young sons in the wake of family collapse. The process of upheaval is the catalyst for a number of transitions—personal, moral, artistic, practical—as she endeavours to construct a new reality for herself and her children. In the city she is made to confront aspects of living she has, until now, avoided, and to consider questions of vulnerability and power, death and renewal, in what becomes her struggle to reattach herself to, and believe in, life.
Filtered through the impersonal gaze of the keenly intelligent Faye, Transit sees Rachel Cusk offer up a penetrating and moving reflection on childhood and fate, the value of suffering, the moral problems of personal responsibility and the mystery of change. In this precise yet epic novel, Cusk manages to describe the most elemental experiences, the liminal qualities of life, through a narrative near-silence that draws language toward it. She captures with unsettling restraint and honesty the longing to both inhabit and flee one’s life and the wrenching ambivalence animating our desire to feel real.
“An extraordinary piece of writing—stunningly bold, original and humane.” —The Daily Telegraph
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.”
“Brave and uncompromising in its literary ambition, Transit is a work of cut-glass brilliance that quietly insists on the reader’s thoughtful attention. One beautifully crafted sentence follows another.”
Rebecca Abrams, The Financial Times
“A stellar accomplishment.”
“Cusk is now working on a level that makes it very surprising that she has not yet won a major literary prize. Her technical originality is equaled by the compelling nature of her subject matter, and Transit is a very fine novel indeed.”
<em>The New Yorker</em>
“One of our most astute writers. . . . Cusk is very good at creating characters who seem fresh; they blossom under her pen. . . . This is part of what makes [Transit] so effective and smart.”
Quill & Quire (starred review)
“One of the most daringly original and entertaining pieces of fiction I’ve ever read.”
“Cusk is a master of sparse, exquisite prose. . . . [Outline] successfully conveys all of her admirable honesty in the safe harbour of fiction, and somehow delivers more human truths than most memoirs ever could.”
The Globe and Mail
“[Transit’s] themes of transience and dislocation are contiguous with a broader conversation about the fluidity of identity resulting, in part, from an increasingly—and contentiously (see Brexit, Trump, etc.)—borderless planet.”
<em>The Globe and Mail</em>
“Quietly radical. . . . Ingenious.”