Shopping cart

Crudo: A Novel (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
Crudo: A Novel Cover Image
Available, order here for delivery or pickup.
On hand as of May 21 7:03pm

Staff Reviews

This brief but powerful experimental novel may or may not be about queer punk writer and feminist icon Kathy Acker (hint: it is). Protagonist Kathy is about to get married, but is lost in her own thoughts and self-doubt, while the turbulent political summer of 2017 unfolds around her. Olivia Laing’s first foray into fiction uses a stream-of-consciousness prose that tumbles along with an anxious momentum, perfectly encapsulating the uncertainties and distressing news cycle of that summer from a place of relative privilege and detachment. Here, the political is personal, and Laing uses Acker’s punkish spirit (and in some cases, her words) to resurrect and reimagine the iconic writer in the now, while simultaneously exploring what it means to love when everything seems doomed. This is a strangely compelling read, sure to elicit polarized reactions, but there is much to admire and love here

— Shane


A New York Times Notable, The New Yorker, Washington Post, NPR, Guardian, Esquire, and Bustle Best Book of 2018

“Love may not be original, but this funny, fervent novel is.”—The New Yorker

It’s the summer of 2017 and Kathy is getting married. Meanwhile, fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is heating up, and Trump is tweeting the world ever closer to nuclear war. In Crudo, her first work of fiction, Olivia Laing radically rewires the novel with a fierce, compassionate account of learning to love when the end of the world seems in sight.

About the Author

Olivia Laing is the author of five acclaimed works of nonfiction, including The Lonely City and Funny Weather. Her first novel, Crudo, won the 2019 James Tait Black Prize. The recipient of the 2018 Windham-Campbell Prize in nonfiction, Laing lives in Suffolk, United Kingdom.

Praise For…

A single moment in modernity, deconstructed by the savagely entertaining, Acker-inspired voice of Laing.
— Paris Review Daily

A narrative written with immense vitality and, miraculously, the lightest of touches.
— Deborah Levy - Wall Street Journal

Written with bristling intelligence, this debut novel… pays homage to the iconoclastic author Kathy Acker, creating a pastiche of voices and identities.
— New York Times

Breathless and gripping.… [Crudo] traps the first summer of Trump and Brexit like a fly in amber.… As a record, Crudo is perfect, and agonizing.


[Crudo is] about the longing to escape our ossified selves—to become, if only for a moment or within the pages of a novel, someone wilder and more radically free. And in staging that longing so directly and so honestly, Olivia Laing makes Crudo>/em> her own.

— New York Times Book Review

Crudo could turn out to be a novel that we pick up years from now to remind ourselves how these times felt.

— Alexandra Schwartz - The New Yorker

Crudo seduces from the very first sentence. Laing as Acker is not a literary device—it is literary detonation.… Crudo is a hot, hot book.

— Guardian

A pretzel twist of form and meaning.… Laing strikes some terrific chords in this novel.
— Dwight Garner - New York Times

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day I spent reading Crudo. I couldn’t put it down, and then it overwhelmed me so much I had to put it down, and then I had to pick it back up again. A beautiful, strange, intelligent novel.

— Sally Rooney - Guardian

Laing’s experiment, and it’s a good one, is to describe the world—her world, between May 17 and September 23, 2017—as precisely as she can.… [Crudo is] a short, entirely readable, and lovably eccentric book.

— The Believer - Nick Hornby
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393357417
ISBN-10: 0393357414
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2019
Pages: 160
Language: English
Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.