OVERRIDE

Arlington Park

A Novel

Rachel Cusk

Picador

Shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction
A San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book of the Year
 
Arlington Park, a modern-day English suburb very much like its American counterparts, is a place devoted to the profitable ordinariness of life. Amidst its leafy avenues and comfortable houses, its residents live out the dubious accomplishments of civilization: material prosperity, personal freedom, and moral indifference. In Arlington Park, men work, women look after children, and people generally do what's expected of them. It's a world awash in contentment but empty of belief, and riven with strange anxieties. How are they to know right from wrong? How should they use their knowledge of other people's sufferings? What is the relationship of politics to their own domestic arrangements?
 
Set over the course of a single rainy day, the novel moves from one household to another, and through the passing hours conducts a deep examination of its characters' lives: of Juliet, enraged at the victory of men over women in family life; of Amanda, warding off thoughts of death with obsessive housework; of Solly, who confronts her own buried femininity in the person of her Italian lodger; of Maisie, despairing at the inevitability with which beauty is destroyed; and of Christine, whose troubled, hilarious spirit presides over Arlington Park and the way of life it represents.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Arlington Park
All night the rain fell on Arlington Park.The clouds came from the west: clouds like dark cathedrals, clouds like machines, clouds like black blossoms flowering in the arid starlit sky. They came over the English countryside, sunk in its muddled sleep. They came over the low, populous hills where scatterings of lights throbbed in the darkness. At midnight they reached the city, valiantly glittering in its shallow provincial basin. Unseen, they grew like a second city overhead, thickening, expanding, throwing up their savage monuments, their towers, their monstrous, unpeopled palaces
READ THE FULL EXCERPT
BACK

REVIEWS

Praise for Arlington Park

"Everything about Arlington Park is original and fearless."--Francine Prose, Bookforum

 

"Hideously funny . . . A novel with a sense of rightness at its core and a narrative intelligence so swift and piercing it can take your breath away."--The Boston Globe

 

"Her books are smart and deep, telling tales of urban life that are the twenty-first-century version of Austen or Thackeray. . . . Cusk's depictions and evaluations are spot-on, her language smooth and enthralling."--Baltimore Sun

 

"Cusk's glory is her style, cold and hard and devastatingly specific, empathetic but not sympathetic."--Los Angeles Times

 

"Cusk's frank acknowledgment of maternal ambivalence is rare and wonderful."--Entertainment Weekly

 

"Sharp wit and commanding prose."--The New York Times

 

"Devastating . . . Incisively vivid."--Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Rachel Cusk

  • Rachel Cusk is the Whitbread Award–winning author of Saving Agnes, The Temporary, The Country Life, The Lucky Ones, and In the Fold, and of the memoir A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother. She lives in Bristol, England.
  • Rachel Cusk Adrian Clarke
BACK

READING GUIDE

ORGANIZING A READING GROUP

GET THE GUIDE

Download PDF

TELL YOUR FRIENDS

FIND MORE BOOKS

Go to website

STAY UPDATED

Sign Up

OTHER GUIDES

Reading Group Guide
BACK

BUY THE BOOK

Available Formats and Book Details

Arlington Park

A Novel

Rachel Cusk

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

BACK

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

BACK