Book - 2015 | First American edition.
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A Finalist for the Folio Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
One of The New York Times' Top Ten Books of the Year
Named a A New York Times Book Review Notable Book and a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker , Vogue, NPR, The Guardian , The Independent , Glamour, and The Globe and Mail

Chosen as one of fifteen remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write in the 21st century by the book critics of The New York Times

Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and lucid, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing over an oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her neighbor from the plane. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves: their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face a great loss.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.
Edition: First American edition.
ISBN: 9780374228347
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 249 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

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Apr 18, 2019

Lots and lots of people sitting around eating and telling stories about their personal lives that are hard to tell apart. It's like My Dinner with Andre but without the metaphysics

Jan 23, 2019

While I liked the overall concept of the book, I found it very flat and uninteresting.

IndyPL_JarrodR Jan 09, 2019

As we follow the narrator from a jet into Athens, Greece, we are introduced to an eclectic collection of characters through chance encounters, gatherings, and a writing class. If you are interested in learning about the various stories of fascinating people from all walks of life, this is the book for you.

Jan 04, 2019

"What Ryan had learned from this is that your failures keep returning to you, while your successes are something you always have to convince yourself of." Smart and insightful novel by Canadian Rachel Cusk. Part of a trilogy with "Transit" and "Kudos."

Dec 25, 2017

read before transit

Aug 23, 2017

A monologue about a woman's voyage to Athens, that emphasizes the disturbing distance between the inside and outside. Marvelous movement between sharp observations of passing events and existential philosophy, but lacks plot.

Jul 07, 2017

Extremely clever structure, less compelling story-line. Divorced people may find this more compelling than happily married (or happily never-married) people.

Apr 03, 2017

It was only after discussing this book with my bookclub that I finally appreciated the elegance and beauty of this book. Initially, I felt ambivalent about the disconnected characters. At our bookclub, the construction was illustrated: the first and last conversation act as parentheses for the rest of the book. These characters are mirror opposites. The rest of the characters reflect aspects of the narrators' unspoken nature.

Feb 20, 2017

There is a plot. It's a good book. Women with a few years will enjoy it.

Jan 28, 2017

This is one of those books that at first glance, seems boring, but then your life slows down a bit, you pick it up once more, it is suddenly a gem.
It is like being overwhelmed by action blockbuster movies with explosions, guns and car crashes; we can be blind towards the subtle beauty of everyday living and meaningful conversations. This book might be able to help bringing some of that skill back.

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