A clever book for ‘clever people’ so please consider yourself one of those! Critics keep lumping this in as an intelligent ‘summer read’, but this precise and succinct piece of literature will stand the test of time and many a forgettable package holiday. This is ostensibly a novel but also works as a series of short stories and you feel as though you’re sat there in the baking heat of present-day Athens hearing all these stories first hand. Read and you’ll soon recommend!
Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and lucid, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing over an oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her student in storytelling exercises. She meets other writers for dinner. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her seatmate from the place. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves, their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face great a great loss. Outline is the first book in a short and yet epic cycle – a masterful trilogy which will be remembered as one of the most significant achievements of our times.