Transit, Rachel Cusk, 2016
Drawn to this book by a New Yorker piece about ‘rudeness’ by Cusk sent to me by Genie Shields. There’s no question that this woman writes beautifully, hauntingly, and with a marvelous ability to choose words and form them into phrases. It’s also clear that this is not your grandmother’s novel. Lacking chapter numbers or headings (though evidently divided into chapters), comprising long paragraphs with a minimum of punctuation, and other modern techniques (e.g. the primary character and her children are never named!), the novel’s greatest details are about characters that transiently (?transit) cross our character’s path. We know she is a writer, a divorcee, a mother of two boys, a speaker at writer’s conferences and book festivals, a buyer and fixer upper of a council-sold house in London, a friend of some interesting people, but we never get far into her head, her plans, her hopes, her thoughts. Fate and the course of a lifetime are repeated themes. Still unsure what to make of this book other than that there are some beautiful passages.