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Olivia Laing

Biography

Olivia Laing

Winner of the 2018 Windham-Campbell Prize for nonfiction, Olivia Laing is the author of four books of nonfiction, including THE LONELY CITY, and one novel, CRUDO. Her work has been translated into 15 languages. She lives in London, England.

Olivia Laing

Books by Olivia Laing

by Olivia Laing - Art, Culture, Nonfiction

In the age of Trump and Brexit, every crisis is instantly overridden by the next. The turbulent political weather of the 21st century generates anxiety and makes it difficult to know how to react. Olivia Laing makes a brilliant, inspiring case for why art matters more than ever, as a force of both resistance and repair. Art, she argues, changes how we see the world. It gives us X-ray vision. It reveals inequalities and offers fertile new ways of living. FUNNY WEATHER brings together a career’s worth of Laing’s writing about art and culture, and their role in our political and emotional lives.

by Olivia Laing - Fiction

Kathy is a writer. Kathy is getting married. It’s the summer of 2017, and the whole world is falling apart. CRUDO unfolds in real time from the full-throttle perspective of a commitment-phobic artist who may or may not be Kathy Acker. From a Tuscan hotel for the superrich to a Brexit-paralyzed United Kingdom, Kathy spends the first summer of her 40s adjusting to the idea of a lifelong commitment. But it’s not only Kathy who’s changing. Fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is heating up, and Trump is tweeting the world ever-closer to nuclear war. How do you make art, let alone a life, when one rogue tweet could end it all?

by Olivia Laing - Cultural Studies, Memoir, Nonfiction

When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-30s, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Moving fluidly between works and lives --- from Edward Hopper's Nighthawks to Andy Warhol's Time Capsules, from Henry Darger's hoarding to David Wojnarowicz's AIDS activism --- Laing conducts an electric, dazzling investigation into what it means to be alone.

by Olivia Laing - Literary Criticism, Nonfiction, Writing

In THE TRIP TO ECHO SPRING, Olivia Laing examines the link between creativity and alcohol through the work and lives of six extraordinary men: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever and Raymond Carver. All six of these writers were alcoholics, and the subject of drinking surfaces in some of their finest work.