Rachel Cusk’s Outline

Invaded, Destroyed, Rebuilt



In one of Outline’s many stories within stories, a recently divorced father recounts a perilous drive into the hills beyond Athens. It was, Paniotis tells the novel’s narrator, the first time he had taken his children on his own. As a storm descended, the steep mountain roads turned to mud. Herds of pigs and goats surged across their path and the children, pocked with mosquito bites from their stay in a filthy motel – bites Paniotis feared would become infected – screamed as floodwater poured into the car. Later, still panicked by their predicament, Paniotis phoned his ex-wife from a mountain inn. Her silence, her failure to ‘take up, as it were, her part in our lifelong duet’, pitched him deeper into distress.


Read full review at Sydney Review of Books.

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© 2015 Mireille Juchau. Homepage image © Wendy Ewald "Girl with Mirror". Author photo © Alex Craig.