Rachel Cusk

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Rachel Cusk (born 8 February 1967) is a Canadian-born author.


  • I annoy everybody, not just certain women…I think it is because I'm not interested in the group, only in the individual. What happens is my message enters the conflicted person reading it who is half self, half society but does not know where one begins and the other ends. I light up that conflict and it makes people angry.
  • A journalist recently told me that she had been sent to find out who I was. [...] There seems to be some problem about my identity. But no one can find it, because it’s not there—I have lost all interest in having a self. Being a person has always meant getting blamed for it.
  • I worry I don't see things the way everyone else does.
  • I can't even remember Saving Agnes. I haven't read it in years and years. I don’t think I could read it. It's a strange thing about having been publishing for so long. As with any memory of yourself at twenty-five, it feels like your cellular being has completely changed. It's not just photographs of me with a weird hairstyle at twenty-five—a novel is such an intricate document.
  • I could almost divide my life on either side of this line, between the things that are real and the things that are imitating reality and are synthetic or inauthentic, and the awful pain of being in the synthetic life or the synthetic relationship, the one that is a bit like the thing you want but is not it. So that was that book.

About Cusk

  • Cusk herself seems extraordinary — a brittle little dominatrix and peerless narcissist who exploits her husband and her marriage with relish. She tramples anyone close to her, especially [second husband Adrian] Clarke, whom she has forced to give up his job in order to look after the kids. She pours scorn on his "dependence" and "unwaged domesticity", but won't do chores herself because they make her feel, of all things, "unsexed". She is horrified when he demands half of every­thing in the divorce: "They’re my children," she snarls. "They belong to me."
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