Real Talk: Rachel Cusk’s “Kudos”

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Peacetime

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Reliquary

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Last

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

L3FT R16HT5

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Unmappable

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

After Ever

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Backyard Boats

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Story of a Beach

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Long Days

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

A Conversation with Megan Abbott

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Problem

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Category Error

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

“Have You Ever Been In Love?”

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

All of This is Magic Against Death

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

A Beagle Roundelay

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Safe in Heaven Dead

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

“Emergency” and the Dream of Compassion

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Perfect Time to Walk Out of Someone’s Life

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Birth of Tragedy

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Velocities

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Anatomy of Color

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Blank Page As Harbour

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Aubade

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Blank Page Gets to Work

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Other Side

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

King Me

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

When I Say Jesus Was My Boyfriend

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Family Physics

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

On an Overgrown Path

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Evening Primrose

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Don’t Go Expecting

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Durian, King of Fruits

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Mermaid River

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Minister of Ministrations

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Home On It

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

On the Fourth Day

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

On the Transit of Toledo

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Same River

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Knife-Thrower Cannot Practice His Art with Pillows and Chocolates

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Where the Accident Begins

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Beautiful Young Women

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Party Line, 1962

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Five Miami Stornelli

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Lens of Porcelain

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Suddenly Seeing in Absent Sandstone How It Will Be

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Nocturne

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Constellations

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Mosul Lives: Verbatim Poems

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Theologicals

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Safety

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

On the 2017 Man Booker Prize

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Sangfroid in San Francisco

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

One Hundred Parties for Mary Ruefle

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Hear Lies Andrew Baker: An Epitome on Figures of Speech

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

A Voice Tucked Away

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

You Could Only Know Us

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Minus the Supernatural

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Visiting Friends

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Letters, 1936-1977

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Unchosen

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

A Conversation with John Jeremiah Sullivan

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Pyrite

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

And They Lived

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Piecework

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Franklin Free Clinic

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Letters Home from College: The Making of a Writer

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Elegy with Drowned Sailor and Endless Horizon

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Evening Dogs

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Rent Manual

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Emerson’s Eyes

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Gravestone and the Commode

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

My Lawyer Said that I Should Call Her

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Anecdote

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

On Stanley Elkin

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Self-Portrait as a Body, as a Sea

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Brood

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Maurice’s Blues

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Quitters

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

One Hundred Million Years of Solitude

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

First Times

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Another Way to Say Hello

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Getting Good

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Something Like That: A Pronoun’s Life in Poetry

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

So Far

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

True Blue Time

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Horse Chestnuts

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Sound of My Father

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Ocean Next Door

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Al, Off the Grid

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Hart Island

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Goombahs

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Dragon

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Sloth

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Lyle Clears My Throat

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Dean Interrupts My Dream

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

The Old Masters

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

P is for Pedestal

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Five Love Poems

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

Basic Reader

Near the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov wanders into a seedy tavern, where he is approached by a bloated alcoholic wreck: a former clerk who introduces himself as Marmeladov and asks if they might have a polite conversation. Ignoring Raskolnikov’s obvious reluctance, Marmeladov skips the small talk and plunges into a monologue that lasts for pages and pages: a rambling, self-lacerating narrative of abject misfortune, poverty, addiction, guilt, shame, helplessness, sin, weakness, and betrayal. His long-suffering, consumptive wife, whose stockings he has sold to buy drink, has been beaten up by their exasperated landlord. His beloved daughter has become a prostitute to help feed the family. By the end of the novel, the unsolicited confession of this “useless worm” will turn out to be the thing that Raskolnikov most needed to hear, partly because it comes to mirror his own concerns in ways he could not have predicted during their initial meeting in the tavern.

The novels in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy—Outline (2015), Transit (2017), and the recently published Kudos—could be described as a succession of Marmeladov moments. In all three books, the narrator, a writer named Faye, who has two sons and is divorced from their father, encounters people—friends, a former lover, distant acquaintances, and total strangers—who, without much prompting, prove eager to tell her their secrets, to uninhibitedly and eloquently recount the most disruptive, wounding, and shameful events in their lives. Their stories are rarely as brutal as the Russian clerk’s account of seeing his daughter forced to wear the insignia of an official prostitute, but there’s plenty of malice, threat, deception, heartbreak, and damage. People make terrible decisions for reasons they barely understand. They lie, and proceed to distort their existence, to avoid admitting that everything about them is pretense. They treat their spouses or lovers very badly, or are treated even worse. Women suffer at the hands of manipulative and vindictive men. Children are benignly ignored, abused, misunderstood, or at least resented. Death matches over real estate transpire in gentrifying urban neighborhoods. Petty jealousies escalate into irreparable estrangements. As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.

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